Sunday, December 23, 2012


Thirteen year old Butterball filled a sock full of batteries and beat up Maurice, and he the school is forcing him to see a therapist so they can get to the bottom of the attack. 

When Butterball's mother decided to make a change in her life, she moved Butterball out of the city and away from his father.  Now they are living in the suburbs, he's going to a crappy junior high school, and working at a hospital and going to nursing school.

Butterball is not fitting in well.  Besides being the new kid, he is overweight and the target for teasing and taunting.  The only one he sort of counts as a friend is Maurice, but when Maurice makes a comment that takes Butterball completely by surprise, Butterball plots an attack on Maurice.  The violence of the beating puts Butterball on the radar of the school administration, and part of his punishment is regular visits with a social worker/therapist. 

Liz attempts to get Butterball to open up, but his anger about moving, being grounded, and not being able to visit his dad as much as he'd like make him a tough nut to crack.  Whenever Butterball seems to get a chance to get ahead, something always gets in the way.  Maybe being a tough guy is the only way he can make something of himself.

Rapper 50 Cent uses his own troubled adolescence as inspiration for this story about a would be bully.  Appropriate for both middle grades and teens, PLAYGROUND hits on a current topic and handles it well.

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