Sunday 23 October 2011

Book ~ "Playground" (2011) 50 Cent

From Penquin Canada~ Thirteen-year-old Butterball doesn't have much going for him. He's teased about his weight. He hates the Long Island suburb his mom moved them to so she could go to nursing school and start her life over. He wishes he still lived with his dad in New York City - where there's always something happening, even if his dad doesn't have much time for him.

Still, that's not why he beat up Maurice on the playground.

Now his school is forcing him to talk to some out-of-touch lady therapist, as though she could ever fix him - as though she could ever figure out the truth. No, Butterball's lips are sealed about what happened that day. But some tales can't help being told. And this is one of them.

Inspired by 50 Cent's own adolescence, Playground is a hard-hitting and inspirational story of the redemption of a bully.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it. The voice of the story is Butterball, a 13 year old overweight black kid who is just trying to fit in. He thinks his mother is selfish and only making decisions to better her life without any regard to his. He worships his dad who lives in the city and, unbeknownst to Butterball, is not the best dad.

After getting into a fight, Butterball has to see a therapist twice a week so he can resolve his issues. Butterball feels that "Old Liz" isn't hip enough to know what's going on but he either has to see her or get kicked out of school.

I wasn't sure what the end would bring ... would it be happy or tragic? You're going to have to read it to find out.

It's considered a "young adult" book but I found the writing style and content mature. Yes, the main character is only 13 but the language is strong (there is graphic swearing) and there is violence (batteries in socks are used in fights).

If your child is fairly mature, they will be able to handle it ... it's not something they won't see in movies today (as I was reading it, I could envision it being made into a movie). If you are trying to shield your child from some realities of today, then you shouldn't let them read this.

I received a copy of this ebook at no charge in exchange for my honest review. 


Beth said...

This book sounds really interesting! Thanks for your review.

Adaptable Kay said...

Hm. Very intriguing book synopsis! I don't think I've heard of it before, but it sounds like a good read :)