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The Boy From the Basement

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,018 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
For Charlie, the cold, dark basement is home. Father has kept him locked in there as punishment. Charlie doesn’t intend to leave, but when he is accidentally thrust outside, he awakens to the alien surroundings of a world to which he’s never before been exposed. Though haunted by hallucinations, fear of the basement, and his father’s rage, Charlie must find a way to surviv ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 2nd 2006 by Speak (first published October 7th 2004)
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Speak by Laurie Halse AndersonA Child Called "It" by Dave PelzerThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherDreamland by Sarah DessenThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
YA Violence & Abuse Novels
77th out of 505 books — 726 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,146)
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Jubilation Lee
Sometimes, friends, I find myself approached by youngish library patrons who are looking for a specific type of book.

Namely, the “Graphic Child Abuse / Abduction / Assault”-type book.

You know, like Living Dead Girl. Or A Child Called It. Or Such a Pretty Girl, or Because I am Furniture, or Ugly, or When Jeff Comes Home, or any of the other MYRIAD ASSORTMENT OF TERRIBLE BOOKS that make you want to curl up into a ball and cry until you have no tears left in your body.

Inevitably, of course, the kid
Dec 23, 2008 Kantorfan96 rated it it was amazing
The Boy from the Basement, is a great book for all people seeking to be introduced to the "Child Called It" series". Although it is a book of abuse, it is not graphically detailed. Susan Shaw mastered the art of characterization by adding new characters to the book. Unlike other books, every few pages a new character is introduced, although these characters may not become main, I do like the style. She is also very creative. She doesn't seem to like the same settings and characters, she likes t ...more
Nov 21, 2008 Katelyn rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was really good. It was really sad though. The poor boy did not even know what school was. He did not know anything about what normal people do. He thought everyone's parents abused them, he thought it was normal. He also kept imagining a spider coming after him, and he really thought it was real. I like this book a lot.
Mar 17, 2014 Faith rated it really liked it
I never really thought much about abusive parents before this. I knew it was bad, but this took you into their mind set. This book starts out with a boy who's father put him in a basement for years. The kid develops a fever, and accidentally runs away. He is found by some neighbors, and brought to the ER. He meets a friend, and starts on the road of recovery...
Patricia Mckelvy
I knew before I started to read this book that I would have a difficult time in doing so, and not because the writing was horrible (it was amazing!), and not so much because of the topic, but because of the main character. While this is a young adult book the main character, Charlie, is yet a real teen. But I'm getting a head of myself...

Charlie has lived in his basement for some time now.... a long time. His father has put him there as part of his punishment. In his basement Charlie hopes that
Booktalk: Charlie is being punished. He was bad so Father has sent him down to the basement and he can't come back up until the punishment is over. That's where Charlie goes when he's bad: down to the basement. He's usually allowed to join his parents upstairs again but this time...well, Charlie has been down in the basement for an awfully long time. So long that every night after his parents go to bed, Charlie sneaks upstairs to get peanut butter and bread to eat, the only thing he'll have to e ...more
Mar 13, 2015 Darrell rated it really liked it
The boy from the basement. Susan Shaw.
This book is about a boy named charlie who has been forces to live all his life in the basement of his house by his psychotic father who beats him and his mother if they dis obey him. Charlie sneaks outside to use the restroom and to the kitchen for food. Charlie finally escapes and is sent to a foster home. Charlie gets adopted and has psychological issues and sees a psychiatrist for help because he thinks his dad will find him and beat him for leaving. Du
Oct 27, 2007 Zhao rated it really liked it
This book is a very weird but cool book. It talks about this book being trapped in teh basement by his parent. The book soon escape and got to another family that really cared about him. He got this mental problem that he started seeing this red spider. He goes through some hard time. I think that the book really bring up how sad some parent are. Treating thier own child like a wild beast, jsut trapping him in a cage. Unfortunately, these stuff does happen and it happens all the time.
Jun 12, 2015 Holly rated it really liked it
After reading this story, I can see why students have been suggesting it to me. I loved Charlie so much, and I found myself as affected as I was when I first read A Child Called "It" and Room. I liked that Shaw wrote from Charlie's perspective and I found myself so overwhelmed with sadness for him every time I realized one more thing he didn't have while in the abusive life of his parents' home, or one more awful thing that he thought was just "normal". It was positively heartbreaking. I liked t ...more
Aug 18, 2010 Alicia rated it liked it
Shelves: abuse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sully Bryant
Mar 20, 2015 Sully Bryant rated it really liked it
The Boy From the Basement
By Susan Shaw

The Boy From the Basement is a story about a 12 year old boy who was living in a basement for almost his whole life. He only knows roman numerals from 1-12 because the clock in the basement had roman numerals. When times were happy at the lake house, Charlie one day was messing around outside when these mean kids bullied him. Then he went inside to tell his parents and his dad made the family move. When they moved Charlie was thrown in the basement. Wheneve
Feb 03, 2014 Kaitlynn rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan B.
Jan 21, 2008 Megan B. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This book was very depressing but very good. It's also symbolic and makes you appreciate what you have.

Jan 21, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it
I really loved the book, im not a fan of fiction but when i read this i really fell in love.
Nov 14, 2009 Samantha rated it did not like it
This is not a young adult's a "how-to manual" on how to pscyhologically and physically abuse your kid(s).
Sep 11, 2013 Janet rated it it was amazing
Great book for students who've suffered physical abuse from a parent.
Katy Jane
Jun 01, 2016 Katy Jane rated it really liked it
1. Anything that reminds me of the movie The People Under the Stairs, I'm going to read.
2. Loved this book but I would have liked more detailed "before" scenes. Why was his dad this way? What other things did he do to his son snd wife? How exactly did Charlie survive in the basement?
3. I cried when Charlie was learning to read. It was so moving.
4. I also loved the scene where everyone ran around the house in celebration of Ross coming to dinner.
5. Overall, this was a sweet story of a boy getting
Jun 10, 2014 Sommer rated it liked it
The Boy From the Basement
Written by Susan Shaw

When children grow up to the same routine they get use to it. If they get in trouble after a while they start to think its their fault. This is the case for Charlie, also known as The Boy From The Basement. When Charlie is in trouble he stays in the basement. For awhile. One night he thought it would be ok if he just snuck upstairs to pee outside. He didn’t think anything would go wrong until the wind locked the door behind him. As he wandered off to
Jan 27, 2014 Carrie rated it liked it
This rating really is a 2.5 Star rating. The book was okay. I don't know... I can't really tell you what I DIDN'T like about it. On some level, I had a hard time finding the main character believable. But I'm not sure why. The spider thing and the humming seemed forced, but I have no real reason for that opinion. I just... I don't know. It was a fine book; It wasn't complex, wasn't full of character development, wasn't full of descriptive, interesting language... but it wasn't terrible. I'm not ...more
Mar 06, 2009 Tanasia rated it it was amazing
I realize that the mom cares for her son Charlie and she tries to help him. But the dad doesn't like that because he punished Charlie. The dad puts Charlie in the basement with no food, or anything. Dad locks the basement door during the day so mom won't give Charlie food. At night dad unlocks the basement door so then Charlie sneaks upstairs and gets food.

Charlie is in the hospital and the doctors are asking him a lot of questions. He is too worried about the spider and his dad. The doctors giv
Ann Marie
Dec 03, 2011 Ann Marie rated it really liked it
What a great read...Charlie is a twelve year old boy who has been abused by his father and doesn't know it...I read the book in less than four hours...theres the mother who can not help him...the father who does not think he is doing anything wrong...the hospital staff who help him...Arron - his first true friend...Ms. H his foster mother and little Ambrose who actually saves him..Charlie seems like such a good kid you really fall in love with him...and the story is not all about the ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mrs. Tongate
Jul 14, 2012 Mrs. Tongate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
Charlie has been locked in his basement by his father. He has never been to school, never heard of holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas), never used a phone; he doesn't even know his last name or age. He believes he deserves all this because he is bad. He has to scavenge for food at night after his father is asleep, and run into the yard because he's not allowed to use the bathroom. His mother is extremely passive and scared of her husband who abuses her as well. Charlie is twelve years ...more
Creative A
Feb 08, 2009 Creative A rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: someone who enjoyed "A Boy Called 'It'"
Charlie is being punished. His father says that outside is bad, that outside they can get him. And Charlie can't seem to be quiet enough, to obey the rules right. Someday he wants to run in the rain. But now, he waits locked in the basement, until his father tells him the punishment is over, and he can come back upstairs. Except it's been an awfully long time. And he's afraid the spider will spin a web, and keep him trapped in the basement forever.

Then one night Charlie gets locked out of the ba
Dec 08, 2008 Mandy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)
I knew before I started to read this book that I would have a difficult time in doing so, and not because the writing was horrible (it was amazing!), and not so much because of the topic, but because of the main character. While this is a young adult book the main character, Charlie, is yet a real teen. But I'm getting a head of myself...

Charlie has lived in his basement for some time now.... a long time. His father has put him there as part of his punishment. In his basement Charlie hopes that
Jenni Frencham
Feb 17, 2012 Jenni Frencham rated it liked it
Shelves: tween, contemporary
Charlie lives in the basement of his home. He is being punished, so he is not allowed out of the basement. Every night after his parents fall asleep, Charlie sneaks out of the basement and takes one drink of water from the faucet. If there happens to be enough bread in the bread drawer, he'll eat one piece of bread with peanut butter on it. Then he opens the back door and uses the back yard as his toilet, only to sneak back inside and head back down to his basement. Until one day the back door s ...more
Oct 26, 2011 Skylee rated it liked it
Spoiler Alert
I would give my book a 3, it was a really good book. But the only thing I didn’t like was how he was in the hospital almost the whole book, and it was really starting to get boring at the end of the story. This book is realistic fiction, it could happen but it’s not about based on anyone in particular. A 12 year old boy gets abused by his father mentally and is locked in his basement so it could possibly happen.
Charlie is a 12 year old kid that did nothing wrong but he thinks he d
Loveliest Evaris
I quit this book because I thought it was boring. I wanted horrifying abuse to happen to the child. A sick and twisted fetish that I look for in my books, but you'd be surprised that I'm vehemently against child abuse. It's just that..I find a morbid fascination within the psyche of children and how the mental, emotional, and physical abuse can morph and twist their brains beyond repair.

But after reading Such a Pretty Girl by Susan Shaw and other less graphic child abuse book, I came back to thi
Amy Y.
Apr 14, 2012 Amy Y. rated it liked it
The book "The Boy from the Basement" is about a prepubescence boy named Charlie whose father had locked him in a basement for months as a punishment. Unaware of his world outside of his home, Charlie accidentally leaves the basement where he encounters many things he did not know of. Frightened of his father's rage, Charlie explores the dangers outside of his world where he makes friends, encounters new experiences and is free from his own scarring past in the basement.

This book was amazing to r
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Why you decided to choose the particular boo you have chosen from the library 2 11 Aug 29, 2013 05:21PM  
abuse 1 8 May 09, 2011 02:36AM  
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I was born in a log cabin in Illinois - no that wasn't me!

I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, grew up outside of Philadelphia with two parents, along with a wild assortment of brothers and sisters and cats and dogs. I did things like take music lessons and play relievo or baseball in the sideyard with the neighborhood kids. Went to school, which I really hated, but somehow managed to get thr
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“I wonder where love really is. Good feelings. Happiness. They're someplace, I know. I feel that. But without Father and Mother, how do I get there?” 6 likes
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