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3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,085 Ratings  ·  220 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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Dec 12, 2013 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 12, 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
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 ...more
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.
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
Dec 18, 2013 Erica rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ismael Kassim
Dec 23, 2013 Ismael Kassim rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2013 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
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
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 ...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
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
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 ...more
Xavier Garcia
Dec 25, 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
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
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 16, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
Well played 50 Cent. I was expecting a train wreck and got a pretty good story. Tied up a little too neatly at the end, but still.
Marion D.
Jun 03, 2015 Marion D. rated it it was amazing
This book is about how a kid changes as he grows up and has a decision to go down the path of good or the path of bad.
Shawn Moore
It made me think about my childhood, because i was just like butterball causing trouble and getting into fights
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!

**There are some spoilers, up in here, up in here (yep, DMX, not 50)**

50 Cent actually wrote this book? I was sure this was co-written with someone, but apparently not...?

Playground is a decent teen book, aimed at At-Risk guys from about grade 7 to 10. The main character, Burton 'Butterball' the bully is 13, but the language used and violence present in this book won't put it on every grade 7 teacher's reading list. That said, this is no Get Rich or Die Tryin' either -- Playground is much tamer.
Jul 02, 2014 Evie rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted to my blog - Bookish as a part of the MEN in YA event

When I first heard that 50 Cent wrote a book I was utterly baffled. I mean, seriously? 50 Cent? Writing Young Adult books? It was like trying to imagine Snoop Dog singing in opera, the idea was ridiculous. I'm not a fan of 50 Cent, I don't think I ever listened to any of his songs.. I admit, I don't know much about him as a person, either. It's just that.. he never really struck me as the writing type (if you
Kristen Fallon
Sep 19, 2016 Kristen Fallon rated it liked it
50 Cent is an incredible rapper/song-writer, so it's no shock that his take on YA literature is also impressive. When I first started this book, I thought it was just going to be another cautionary tale about how bullying can hurt children and why it's important to stick up for the "little guy." But I was pleasantly surprised to see the depth that the main character, Butterball, had and how attentive to detail 50 Cent was when developing him. Although this book read at a middle school age ...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.
Dec 21, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from Penguin Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This audiobook has been sitting on my computer since the book was first released, which is pretty sad. Sometimes it’s hard to get to things though, even if I have good intentions when I request it. When I first received this book, I was simply interested in reading a book that 50 Cent would write for kids. What led me to finally get to it is m
Quentin Hope
Sep 24, 2015 Quentin Hope rated it liked it
I thought was a fairly good and respectable book, I decided to read it as I was intrigued and curious as I saw the author of the book was Curtis Jackson, the rapper 50 cent, and wanted to see if he was any good of a writer, previously listening to some of his music. Playground is a book through the perspective of a 13 year old school yard bully, nicknamed Butterball, going in and out of therapy sessions with a ''skinny white woman'' named Liz, as being described that way by Butterball at the ...more
Anna  Tee (The Bursting Bookshelf)
When I got offered a review copy of this book, I was a little skeptical about it, but I decided to give it a chance. When I actually read it, I was very pleasantly surprised about how interesting and well written the book was. In fact, I ended up reading the book in a single day because I couldn't put it down.

The cover of the book was not one of my favourite aspects of the book. My biggest complaint was that 50 Cent's name was larger than the title. I do however, like the way the colours were in
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
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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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