The hero is Paco Jones, a quirky Mexican kid with few friends. He’s recently transferred from his old junior high to a private school, and because he’s the poor, new arrival, he soon finds himself an outcast. It doesn’t help that he sports “a big nose, an unflattering birthmark, pigeon-toed feet and hairy arms,” all of them fodder for teasing. He’s jeered at during lunch, called Paco Taco, and ridiculed for being different. So what hope is there for him when he falls for Naomi Fox, a popular girl already involved with the legendary Trent Oden? Through dumb luck and a few clever moves, Paco soon finds himself on center stage amidst a twisted middle school mess.
“Carrillo remembers the tortures of eighth grade well and re-creates them with competence. Any reader who’s been young and in love should feel a vicarious thrill… Students with different backgrounds from their classmates may especially identify with Paco, an outsider in a strange place, shy but wise, his own heart a secret. But all readers should find plenty here to make them smile. A fun, amusing tale about the beautiful torment of young hearts and hormones at play.”