Playground by 50 Cent Audiobook Review

I won’t lie, when I first heard that 50 Cent had a book out about bullying, I was skeptical, thinking why not leave writing to the real authors. But on further consideration, I thought I would give Playground a chance as I enjoy 50 Cent’s music AND I think that there is an audience for Playground.

Playground, 50 Cent, audiobook cover, book cover, penguin audio

Playground

Butterball, a 13 year old boy, is a bully. He finds himself in counseling after assaulting another boy, Maurice, with a sock full of batteries. Frankly, I had little sympathy for Butterball. I understand he dide what he did because of issues and the want to gain respect and all, but I felt like this kid needed to man up and stop being so over-entitled. Like, there’s one part where he whines about how his $300 shoes from 2 years ago are not as good as the $300 shoes he sees in the store. Dude your family is NOT poor if they can afford to purchase you shoes that are that expensive. But I digress. Okay, so the real gist of the story after my little sidebar over there, is that Butterball goes to counseling and learns that being a jerkface is no way to live life.

I really liked Butterball’s counselor, who he hates at first. All he can think about her is how cheap everything in her office looks. But, she is not a selfish jerk, so she sticks with Butterball and he warms up to her. She genuinely cares and wants to help him through his issues by giving him a creative outlet. I liked that Butterball’s actions as a bully are never condoned.

The writing in Playground by 50 Cent is not terrible. There are lots of swears, which appeals to me, but I kind of could be a sailor with my mouth. There are no real plot holes. ALSO I liked the side characters a lot. I also did find myself empathizing with the bullied kid.

I can definitely see the appeal of Playground to reluctant readers. It’s by 50 Cent a rapper considered to be cool and ‘street’. There’s swears. Butterball could be someone kids relate to– a kid with divorced parents and struggling with their own inner issues. Also, it’s not a challenge to read at all.

The audiobook of Playground is read by Dwayne Clark. He has the PERFECT accent for a young boy from the City and sounds exactly like my friends who are from there. I think the audiobook will be appealing to urban kids, because it’s like a story they know themselves and the narrator sounds like them. And I think being able to identify with what you read/listen to, enhances the experience. Dwayne Clark does different voices for the characters, keeping the audio interesting, also I liked how he put aggression in Butterball’s voice. If you are a high school English teacher looking to hook reluctant readers, I highly recommend adding this audiobook to your classroom or school library, just be aware of the swears.

Disclosure: Audiobook received for review.

Other reviews of Playground by 50 Cent:

Killin’ Time Reading
Helen’s Book Blog

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. Maybe I should read this one. I was wondering if it is ghost written.

  2. How interesting! I hadn’t actually given much thought to this book, hadn’t really planned to read it, and honestly, probably still won’t. But I’m really glad that it’s pretty well done. I really DO hope that it reaches kids who could be helped by it, but wouldn’t normally read a book like this.

  3. Hmmm… I’m still not convinced that Fifty actually wrote the book, even if the writing is just mediocre. Still, I’m glad to hear that it’s a pretty good audio for reluctant readers. If 50 Cent gets one kid to read, that’s a good thing in my book.

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