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The Boy From the Basement
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The Boy From the Basement

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  824 ratings  ·  141 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 PelzerDreamland by Sarah DessenThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,665)
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Monica!
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...more
Kantorfan96
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
Katelyn
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.
Sommer
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...more
Faith
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...
Zhao
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.
Alicia
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Kaitlynn
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Megan B.
Jan 21, 2008 Megan B. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This book was very depressing but very good. It's also symbolic and makes you appreciate what you have.

















































Janet
Great book for students who've suffered physical abuse from a parent.
Carrie
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
Tanasia
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...more
Ann Marie
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 abuse....th...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mrs. Tongate
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 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Mandy
Dec 08, 2008 Mandy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Jenni Frencham
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
Skylee
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...more
Talyn
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...more
Amy Y.
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...more
Nick
This book was a really good book. It showed a lot of suspense and makes you think on what is going to happen next. I liked how the author, Susan Shaw, started off the book as the boy is speaking and he's already in the basement, talking about his father and how he put him in there. Also, this book was pretty long but there were some parts I did not understand. One of the parts I didn't understand myself was how did he accidently leave the basement and why did he fall when he was outside of the b...more
Jessie Aljets
The second book i read is called The boy from the basement by Susan Shaw and it is a realistic fiction. It's about a boy named Charlie who is 12 years old. Charlie is kept prisoner by his abusive psychotic father. He's never been to school, allowed to play with other kids and especially not allowed to play outside. He was allowed for a time to read books but after an incident with some teenagers that got taken from Charlie too. When Charlie goes outside when he knows he isn’t suppose to he is fo...more
Jacob S
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie Banks
“They think my parents are terrible. But they aren’t. I love my parents, and I know they love me. I’m bad, that’s all. I’m being punished, but my parents would never hurt me.”

At twelve-years-old, Charlie’s whole life is the basement and hope that his father will love him enough one day to let him out. He is convinced that he is being punished for his own good, to protect him from the dangers of the outside world. Despite what he’s been told, Charlie sneaks outside at night to go to the bathroom....more
04milayaw
Main issue: Charlie has been abused by his father and his mother just stands there watching him. One of the main issues is that Charlie steps out to take a pee and SLAM the door slides shut, he is scared and afraid that father might put him back into the basement again.
Setting: It takes place in the basement, the hospital, and in Mrs. H's house. Yes it could take place in another area but the book wouldn't be the same if it did change.
Description: Protagonist is Charlie because he is the victim...more
Angela
Charlie is an abused boy who thinks he's being punished for doing the littlest thing wrong like getting in his father's way and accidentally breaking a vase or two. His mother can't do anything to control her husband and allows the abuse to continue because she is powerless in stopping it. Charlie is always "punished" and sent down to the basement. Charlie later wakes up to find himself in the hospital and a spider that he believes to be real. I really love this book from the beginning to the en...more
Claudia
Charlie agrees with his father: he's a bad boy. He does bad things. So of course he must be punished. He lived in the basement where he's locked in every day. He sneaks up to the kitchen and quietly makes himself peanutbutter sandwiches when Father is asleep. He pees in the backyard, since the bathroom is locked. His mother is strangely quiet about all this, except for the day she does stand up for Charlie. Later he sees the bruises but doesn't make sense of them.

One night Charlie is locked out...more
Vanessa Cameron
Yesterday I finished The Boy From The Basement and I was a little disappointed. The book had a very good plot, it was obviously a case of child abuse and the mental anguish from the abuse that the main character, Charlie, suffered. He was totally oblivious to everyday life because his father kept him the the basement for almost all of his life. When he finally escapes from his house, he is found and brought to the hospital where he is then transferred to foster care. All of the while, Charlie is...more
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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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