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3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  1,056 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Razorbill (first published January 1st 2011)
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Aug 01, 2012 Lectus rated it it was amazing
Read entire review on my blog

Did you know 50 Cent could write? Other than songs, that is. He wrote this novel loosely inspired by his adolescence and with his 14 year old son in mind.
I was very skeptical of this book and was surprised to find a very nicely, straight forward, touching and easy story to read; I was even more surprised when I found myself liking it! Because, yes, I liked it.

I’m not into stories of bullies with a big redemption at the end an
Reading Vacation
Nov 05, 2011 Reading Vacation rated it really liked it
I was really surprised when Playground showed up in the mail. Come on now! WHAT could I have in common with a bully named Butterball? I went into the book with really low expectations. I. WAS. WRONG. Playground was a deep thinking type of read for me and Butterball was a sort of hero. I could see a lot of middle school and high school boys liking it.

Butterball was an overweight African American kid from the city with umm… a lot… of issues. At first, Butterball was not an easy character to identi
Agais Garcia
Dec 11, 2014 Agais Garcia rated it it was amazing

This book is based on a kid and he was not rich and is mom and dad were not together. He was fat and he would get mad at kids that made fun of him. In one part he had stold up to a and he had hit the kid with a sock with batters and the story grabed you with a fight at the start of the book and that is a good start to the book. I think you should realy this book its a book for a good life lesson to show you to stand up to your bully
Jan 29, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok
Ugh. I know that this book will appeal to certain readers. And I know that those are the readers that need more books to appeal to them. But... Well, the book is just so... ugh. But my criticisms of it come from such an old-white-lady perspective. I was annoyed by the fact that his father stole shoes and there was no consequence. I was annoyed that Butterball's "growth" was when he stood up for a little kid by menacing another kid. I was annoyed that the illustration on the cover was of the cele ...more
May 09, 2016 Kristen rated it liked it
This would have been four stars for me, but the time-jumping just didn't make sense. I can't figure out why sometimes we're experiencing events chronologically and why sometimes we're doing flashbacks to events while in the counselor's office. It doesn't seem to serve a purpose, and it makes things confusing. And if I find it confusing, I know my students will.

HOWEVER, my students WILL like the real narrative voice and dialogue, and luckily the final third of the book runs pretty much chronologi
Oct 11, 2011 Chrissey rated it liked it
Not only has 50 Cent provided a decent resource for young folks and those who support them, but he's written a relatively enjoyable novel besides. He makes a great case for the theory that bullies are often bullied themselves, and provides relatable insight into a "mean kid's" secret thoughts and vulnerabilities. Sure the plot is predictable, and the characters are little more than tired stereotypes, but overall this book is pretty damn a'ight.
Henry Alimanestianu
Feb 06, 2014 Henry Alimanestianu rated it really liked it
As soon as I started reading this book, I knew that I was going to like it. I knew this because it starts off with Butterball hitting Maurice in the face with a sock full of batteries, and I don't like it because I like that gruesome stuff a lot because I don't. I like it because it captivated me almost immediately and I wanted to find out why he did this. From then on it remained an interesting book.
Jul 18, 2016 Brittany rated it liked it
This book seemed too cheesy of a concept to be any good, but I knew my students would be interested in a book by 50 Cent so I picked it up.

It is predicable and a bit odd at times, but I actually liked the concept of Butterball seeing a counselor. I think it's important for my students to know they can ask for help, and my African American students are much less likely to do so.

I think his relationship with his mother is complex, yet typical, and his resistance to her ideas of stability reminds
Xavier Garcia
Dec 18, 2013 Xavier Garcia rated it liked it
Playground is a young adult fiction book. By reading this book it is clear that divorce affects the behavior of the children experiencing the separation. When Butterball attacks Maurice in the playground he justifies the thesis by saying, " And I'd be lying if I said that didn't feel pretty good." Throughout the book Butterball struggles with his psychiatrist to understand why he wanted to hurt Maurice so badly. "I know your moms gay Butterball. You could've just told me because I wouldn't have ...more
Wow, this book was fantastic. I didn't always like Butterball, but after reading this book I can imagine why he did and acted like he did.

Butterball, or let's call him with his real name: Burton. A boy with divorced parents, stuck in a bad school and surroundings. When we first get to know him we have no clue why he suddenly decided to follow the road of a bad guy, but we slowly find it out piece by piece.
I never had the feeling that Burton was a bad guy, he just tried to act tough. His life was
Nov 07, 2011 Lucy rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Playground is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s debut young adult novel about teen bullying. He explores this topical issue by sharing some of his own experiences in this fictionalized story. He hopes to reach out to kids to show how bullies are created and that there is hope to overcome it. As a parent, I’m very interested in this topic and was curious to read a story written from the bully’s perspective as a fresh change of pace.

The story is narrated by thirteen-year-old Butterball, nicknamed because
Jun 09, 2012 Esther added it
Playground is about a kid nick named Butterball because he is overweight. One day he gets tried of it and beats up his friend Maurice. This incident shocks his mom and the school. They force him to see a therapist. Being this "tuff" guy he is unwilling to talk to her. Slowly he sees that she isn't horrible and answers a few questions. One day while he was in her office her starts telling her more than he really wanted to. He starts to see that his problems are at home. His mom is never around an ...more
Sandra Stiles
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 bo ...more
Oct 20, 2013 Erica rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaleiah Spencer
Jan 23, 2012 Kaleiah Spencer rated it it was amazing
This book was about a young teenager named Butterball. Buterball isn't the perfect teenager, he makes very por decisions. He fights because he has no other way to express his anger.Now, that Butterball goes to see a psycholgist his anger level has decreased and he's learning to control his anger. Butterball does what he sees others do that's why he acts like a tough kid all the time.

This book teaches you hoe to treat others the way youb want to be treated. If you want to be treated with respec
Ismael Kassim
Nov 04, 2013 Ismael Kassim rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2012 Erin rated it liked it

This was way better than I thought it would be. It started off slowly for me, not to mention very cliche. I honestly picked it up more because 50 Cent was the author than anything. But asButterball started to open up, I found myself opening up to the book as well. This is the kind of book I can see a lot of middle grade aged boys really connecting with - themes of insecurities, what it means to be a man, roll models hoped for, fitting in, redemption, choices parents make and how it affects kids
I was about to type "I actually liked this book..." but the word "actually" would imply some kind of surprise, and frankly I'm not surprised at all that I enjoyed it. It's about this chubby kid nicknamed Butterball who lives in the suburbs with his mom and has to start seeing a therapist after he beats the crap out of a kid on the playground.

Oh yeah, and it was "written" by 50 Cent.

The story is fast paced (short chapters!) and highly readable, despite some slow scenes in the shrink's office and
Jayson Stone
Oct 13, 2015 Jayson Stone rated it really liked it
Very, Very surprising that this was written by 50 Cent; and how good this book was!
Sara Thompson
Not a bad story, I wanted more at the end- it read like it was meant for a younger audience, minus the cursing? I get it- and why the author thought it was necessary, but it didn't add anything to the story for me.
Jul 23, 2016 Bless rated it it was amazing
I guess people have feelings inside and don't know how to release them or how they feel about it, Butterball or should I professionally say Burton, he has come a long way from being a big bully and transformed into a more soft and exquisitely creative being. Of course with him talking to his guidance counselor, he un leases and unravels his feeling, sometimes guilt, hatrer, sympathy and most times confused with no reason at all. As he continues to work on his cinema, and more progress living a g ...more
St Stephen's C C
'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 th ...more
Nov 06, 2015 Tyson rated it liked it
Tyson Metheny
“Playground” 50 Cent, Book Review
Let me first start of by saying that although I did not enjoy reading this book I have to respect what the author, 50 Cent, was trying to do with this book. This book is essentially a lesson to early male teenagers about bullying. The main character, Butterball a thirteen year old boy, struggles with being bullied, but is also a bully himself. As you figure out very early in the book, Butterball does not have the easiest of lives. His parents get di
Feb 25, 2015 Ben added it
Playground, a book based off a true story of the author, Curtis Jackson III, follows the life of Burton, (known has ‘butterball’ in the story) in his adolescent years. Burton is an african-american boy whose parents have recently been divorced, and is forced to live with his mother in the suburbs, even though he enjoys living in the city with his father more. The story starts off with Burton hitting another boy named Maurice in the face repeatedly with a sock full of batteries. We then follow t ...more
Colton Hysell
Jan 19, 2015 Colton Hysell rated it it was amazing
"The Playground" was a very intense but interesting book! it had me on the edge of my seat every second I had my eyes feasted into it. The book takes place in new York, and its like the hood of new York. the main character is butterball, who is also a trouble maker. He has a sock full of batteries and socks a kid that was talking crap to him in the face and gets suspended. The kid he smacked name was Maurice. Eventually butterball goes to his dads house for the weekend. he gets there and his dad ...more
Jul 06, 2014 Gemmicka rated it really liked it
I will be honest, when I saw this novel I was all prepared to hate it. I can say, however, that I am really glad I gave this novel a chance. It is a story that takes a look into what factors may motivate a kid to bully another one. Three factors that we see most clearly in this novel is first the culture of violence as an acceptable part of manhood. Burton, known as "Butterball," socks a kid in the mouth with a sock full of batteries on the playground one day. This immediately gains him access i ...more
Mohamed Khaled
Apr 04, 2014 Mohamed Khaled rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryen B.
Mar 22, 2014 Ryen B. rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-ir
Playground by 50 Cent is a realistic fiction novel loosely based on his own childhood. "Butterball" is the overweight bully that everyone fears, he makes even more people tremble because he sends a kid to the hospital by breathing him with a sock full of D batteries. When his mother makes him go to a clueless therapist named Liz, he tries to figure out the root problem of his weight problems , and his anger .
My favorite part of the book had to be when he and his father ran out the store after h
Adam Truong
Aug 13, 2015 Adam Truong rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a great, interesting, realistic fiction novel that will pull you in to keep reading, then i would recommend this novel written by the rapper, 50 cent, is a great choice for you. This book is about a thirteen year old boy that goes by the name "Butterball" going through the troubles of his hectic life. Butterball has never really fit in as he is bullied by his weight. He hates life in the Long Island suburbs his mom moved to and wishes he was living with his dad in the city ...more
Frida S
Dec 18, 2014 Frida S rated it liked it
“Playground” is about a boy named Burton who is quite frankly, a loser. His parents are divorced and he’s moved away with his mom. He of course misses his old school in the city, and his old life but he is forced to deal with it. In his new school he is treated badly because of his weight and has difficulty making friends. Although he later does make a friend whose name is Maurice, and is a nerd who lives in the rich neighborhood. They had a fight and “Butterball” [Burton] beats him up. That’s w ...more
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Little Falls High...: Playground 5 17 Jan 20, 2013 08:53AM  
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50 Cent is a hip-hop artist who founded the G-Unit Books imprint.
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