by 50 Cent

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Thirteen-year-old Butterball doesn't have much going for him. He's teased mercilessly about his weight. He hates the Long Island suburb his mom moved them to and wishes he still lived with his dad in the city. And now he's stuck talking to a totally out-of-touch therapist named Liz.

Liz tries to uncover what happened that day on the playground - a day that landed one kid in the hospital and Butterball in detention. Butterball refuses to let her in on the truth, and while he evades her questions, he takes readers on a journey through the moments that made him into the playground bully he is today.

This devastating yet ultimately redemptive story is told in voice-driven prose and accented with drawings and photographs, making it a natural successor to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Loosely inspired by 50 Cent's own adolescence, and written with his fourteen-year-old son in mind, Playground is sure to captivate wide attention - and spark intense discussion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101552292
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 11/01/2011
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 659,648
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Curtis Jackson III (aka 50 Cent; is an internationally successful hip-hop star, actor, writer, and entrepreneur. He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre. He is the author of the bestselling books From Pieces to Weight and The 50th Law.

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Playground 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really really good recommend it anti-bullying
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a tremendous read for any teen who is struggling with self acceptance and confidence. Any teen can relate to Butterball and any of the other characters. I hope this book will get more publicity because its so amazing! And I think 50 Cent is a great author. He should definetly write more novels, maybe even a sequel! Bravo 50!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
50 cents a boss
SandyStiles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WAtch out for language on this one, but plot was decent and will appeal to a few students for whom it can be very, very hard to find a book that they'll read. Author tried to hit some of the complicated reasons for bullying and there was a good resolution at the end.
eenerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Intriguing, quick read about 13 year old "Butterball", a quiet overweight teen who moves to the Long Island suburbs from NYC after his mom leaves his dad. The story centers around a violent confrontation between Butterball and his only friend at his new school, Maurice and the prologue and aftermath of that event. A look at bullying from the aggressors side, and the complexities surrounding how the kids get to that point and whether they can turn it around.
bibliovermis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't great, but wasn't bad, either. It is hard to categorize as it doesn't really fit anywhere. The language, some character interactions, and level of violence are young adult, but the simplicity of the plot and Butterball's character progression are much more middle grade. It's hard to imagine who this book will appeal to: middle graders probably won't be allowed to read it, while older teens might find it too easy.
shootingstar2428 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Easy read book -- better than I'd expected from 50 Cent, actually. I think kids will like it: the chapters are short, the plot is simple, and the ending is positive and wraps everything up pretty well. The only issue I had with it as a teacher is the frequent swearing. I understand that it makes the book more realistic; however, it will also turn some potential readers away who may be uncomfortable reading something with such language in it.
Acacia11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿Playground¿ is a well-written, engaging story. The main character, Butterball, has had a rough year. Like many teens, he is desperately searching for acceptance. He wants nothing more than to be ¿the big man on campus¿. However, it seems at every turn an obstacle lies in his path. He is overweight, new to his school, and has anger issues he can¿t even begin to explain. After jumping an ¿ex¿ friend on the playground Butterball¿s life becomes more and more complex. The reader is left wondering for most of the book why the assault occurred. When we do learn what prompted Butterball¿s anger ¿Playground¿ becomes even more intriguing. This coming of age story has a twist dealing with acceptance that I think few will see coming. The book is told in the first person with a great amount of detail going into exploring where Butterball is coming from. Teens will be able to easily relate to Butterball¿s feelings of isolation and peer pressure. I can honestly say I was more than pleasantly surprised by 50 Cent¿s writing ability. I did not expect this book to be nearly as good as it was. Also, from the standpoint of a middle school English teacher I was slightly concerned about the content being inappropriate for my classroom library. ¿Playground¿ does have some cursing, but never uses the ¿F¿ bomb. It never delves into sex and the violence is limited. I feel comfortable recommending this book to my students and putting on my classroom shelf.I highly recommend ¿Playground¿.
livebug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly readable and appealing. Marketing this as a "bully reforms" book is a bit misleading (Butterball is himself bullied, and the violent incident in question is him turning on his friend in shame and rage, rather than a systematic victimization which is more the hallmark of bullying), but the message of owning your own weaknesses speaks to anyone who feels isolated and persecuted. The language rings true for urban middle schoolers (complete with liberal profanity) but is at heart somewhat wholesome and innocent. Recommended.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Butterball hit his ex-friend Maurice in the face with a sock filled with batteries. His family has fallen apart, his mother's new relationship is confusing and now he lives on Long Island and has no friends to speak of. After the attack, he is sent to a social worker and works on understanding himself and his actions.
iamjackson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was better written than I thought it would be and it has good characters and real life situations. Good for middle school age, I'd say.
mamzel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written for readers in middle school, this is a book that seems to be atonement for the author's misbehavior when he was that age. We follow Butterball, an overweight eighth grader who beat up another student with a sock filled with D batteries. He was goaded into the act by "helpful" classmates. He agrees to visit a therapist in order to avoid being expelled from school. His biweekly visits with Liz explore his reasons for beating up the other student and his relationship with his divorced parents, stereotypical black ghetto parents. The mother works and attends school to become a nurse. The reader never truly understands what the father does except that he is an adept shoplifter and popular with women.I think that it would be hard to sell this book to students except for 50 Cent's rapper persona. While this may end up in the hands of bullies, I don't see that they would reform. I'm sure that this book was much more therapeutic to Mr. 50 Cent than for any reader that picks it up. Parents should be warned about the language in this book which, while not new to middle schoolers, may be viewed as unnecessarily crude.
CatheOlson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Butterball is a bully who's kicking younger kids around to make himself feel like somebody. He thinks his bad behavior will get him respect. And when he bashes his ex-best friend with a sock full of batteries, he does seem to get respect . . . from kids at school, from other bullies and even from his mostly absentee father. But are those the people he wants respect from? What about the nice girl at school Nia or his hardworking mother? Butterball is at the crossroads and needs to decide what path he wants to take in life. This was a such great read. My heart totally went out to Butterball who just can't seem to help making the wrong choices. I think every teen boy should read this . . . it has so many lessons about everything from bullying to acceptance to self-esteem without one bit of preachiness. It's a realistic, page-turning read where you're just hoping so much that things will somehow work out for Butterball and for his mom too. Yes, there is quite a bit of bad language but it is not there to shock -- it is just part of B-ball's character and voice and fits perfectly. I highly recommend this to teens ages 7th grade and up.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I was given the opportunity to possibly win a copy of this book I signed up only because I loved the premise of the book. I honestly knew nothing about the author except I believed he was a rapper. After getting the book and reading it I decided to look up the author. I read several articles on him and his reasons for writing the book. I could not say I expected him to say he was a bully at some point in his life as I knew nothing about him or his music. I was pleased to realize that the book came about because of a conversation with his son. That in itself put him high on my list of parents. We need more parents willing to have conversations with their children about tough topics. I was glad that he chose to approach this from the bully¿s perspective. It gave me a better look at some of the reasons children bully others. As a teacher I see bullying many times a week. Most of it is not the violent type we saw in the book where the main character Butterball bashes in the face of his ex-friend with a sock full of batteries. The type of bullying I see at school is just as dangerous and harmful. Physical wounds can often heal. It is the psychological ones that take time. Healing has to happen not only for the victim but also for the bully. I¿ve seen a couple of those students who were ¿thugs¿ do a complete turn-around. This book gives hope to those who know they are bullies. I think in our society we often look at the bully and write them off. I applaud the author for his work on this issue. I hope we see more from him regarding tough topics. I will not only put this on my shelves at school I will make sure our guidance department knows about this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I told you not to read this review but yo did so go ahead and push the x button on the top right corner of the page my little minions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know what it is like to be bullied and its not fun. Not only was i bullied at school my family also bullied me. They called me all kinds of names. I dont think that anyone should have to go through what i did. - rebekah
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
• Name ~ Kaitlynn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its alsome and it tell you how it fills to be bullyed.
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Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
50 Cent has written a winner; Playground looks at how an urban teen boy reacts to the divorce of his parents, being overweight, and wanting to fit in. This story is told through the eyes and words of Butterball, who is a bully. After beating a former friend with a sock filled with batteries, he must attend counseling sessions. Adverse to talking about what happened, Butterball initially doesn't seem to get much from the sessions but he gradually opens up. Wanting to please his dad, his mom, and his friends isn't easy, especially when his reputation as a bully means his friends expect Butterball to do their dirty work. Some language might make this book inappropriate for some younger teens but when used, it is in context. As a middle school librarian, I find the book appropriate for grades 7 and up. My students will read it and recommend it to others, meaning multiple copies need to be available. Well done, 50 Cent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gay-ass fag
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this really writtn by 50 cent?