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


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 in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  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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