Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Playground / Fifty Cent

TITLE: Playground
AUTHOR: Fifty Cent

Playground is the story of thirteen year old Butterball; a modern day bully. Butterball is a teen growing up in suburban Long Island who finds himself meeting with a therapist twice a week after viciously attacking a fellow classmate with a sock filled with batteries. Maurice (the boy who he attacked) is so traumatized that he transfers out of Watkins (the school that both boys attend) and out of Butterball's life. Will Butterball take his therapy seriously and open up about why he did what he did? Or will Butterball resists therapy and continue down the same destructive path?

M's Verdict: Want to know what made me pick up this book? Similar to Hilary Duff's Elixir, I wanted to see if 50 Cent (a.k.a. Curtis James Jackson III) could actually write a book that would appeal to teens and be worth reading. In my opinion, it's good. I don't know how much 50 Cent wrote and how much co-writer Laura Moser wrote, but the tale is believably harsh, realistic, and honest.

Author (and rapper) 50 Cent created an authentic story of a teenager growing up in a dysfunctional family in a less than stellar neighborhood. Supposedly semi-autobiographical, Playground tells the story of a teen bully (similar to the author) who made some terrible choices and had to live with his consequences and decide whether or not he wanted to change. Although there may be a connection between the author and main character in regards to being a bully in school, which opens itself up to both a great novel and a great lesson for teenagers, there are many differences between the author and main character of Playround.

Here's what the real 50 Cent story includes but Playground did not:

  • In the story...

  • Butterball lived with his mother who spent all of her time working and going back to nursing school

  • In real-life...

  • 50 Cent's mother was a crack dealer who was murdered when he was only eight years old

  • 50 Cent was raised by his grandmother

  • In the story...

  • Butterball's father lived the bachelor life in NYC

  • In real-life...

  • 50 Cent's father abandoned him shortly after his mother died

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