Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Playground by 50 Cent

3rd November 2011, Quercus
320 Pages,Paperback
Review Copy

Swearing -Frequent use of sh*t, Violence but not graphically portrayed

Summary from Quercus Books

'I wonder what she would've said if I'd told her all the parts the report left out, like how I'd woken up that morning and pulled that sock out of my draw and filled it, one after the other, with the D batteries I'd bought the last time I visited my dad in the city. But there was no way. There was just no way I'd ever tell anyone what really went down that day...'

Thirteen-year-old Butterball doesn't have that much going for him. He's teased about his weight. He hates the suburb his mum 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 in 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.  

The Mole's Thoughts
Something I am not sure about though is the reading age.... Normally a book about a 13/14 year old boy is aimed at 11+ but this book has language (not profanity although 'sh*t' is thrown in liberally through out the book) and concepts that just don't seem right for a young teenager - things that might be learned and understood retrospectively in later life.
Having made those minor comments, it doesn't detract from the fact that this book is 'mostly true' and a heart warming story for it. Clearly the book is not a transcript of the sessions and it is easy to say that as a work of fiction this just would not have happened. It did - and it's important to bear that in mind.

So it's target audience? Well 50 Cent says it's an anti bullying book and this it most certainly is but are bullies likely to read it? Unfortunately I doubt it. But I wonder how many copies will be bought as presents, because of the name on the cover, for fans and go unread?

It is well worth a read and is easily readable.

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