This is a gripping and inspiring story based on the artist's own life, and inspired by his own teen son. Butterball (named for his weight problem) is a bully capable of violent acts. While it may be difficult to understand--or even like--this character, through some insight into his life, the reader will begin to have compassion for this kid. Butterball's parents are divorced and his mostly absent father rewards him for bullying, and teaches and encourages him to steal. He has no male role model, and nothing but peer pressure at school. He doesn't like that he has moved, and when he begins to realize that his mother's new friend is actually her partner, he struggles with this. Through time and therapy, trial and error, Butterball learns to differentiate right from wrong, and that he has the power of choice--he can choose to live any kind of life he wants. He stands up to peer pressure, stops bullying, accepts his mom and her partner as the good parents they are, sees his dad for the jerk he is, and embraces therapy. Butterball concentrates on his passion for making movies, and staying out of trouble. This is a great book for the twelve and up crowd, both boys and girls, and especially reluctant readers. It does contain some graphic language and violence.