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Playground Case

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For my outside reading essay, I read Playground by Curtis Jackson, or 50 Cent and Lizzi Ankana. This biography is about the childhood of 50 cent and how he had a really hard life growing up in New York. In Playground, Butterball starts off as a stubborn, immature child, and then transforms into a mature young man.

At the beginning of the story, the author describes how he was a chubby boy so wveryone called him "Butterball." Butterball did not really have any friends when he first moved out of New York City into a town called Garden City until he met Maurice, a "nerd" in his class who was the only person in the class not to immediately call him fat. After meeting Maurice, he started to hang out with him. After befriending Maurice, he does not explain why, but he eventually ends up filling up a sock with D batteries and beats him up with them on the playground. After getting caught by the principal, Butterball gets suspended for a week and gets appointed to a therapist for counciling.

In the first month or so of counciling Butterball is really mean to his therapist, Liz, because he thinks that she is a nuisance and he does not tell her anything about his life, like she asks in the story. He often makes rude comments at her like, "Listen lady...I'm here because if I get expelled from school, I'll have to sit around my mom's apartment all day...So I'll sit here with you, but only if you ease off." (Jackson 4). This does not sound that bad, but he says this after she asks why she should not call him by his real name. This shows that he was impatient and immature.

Butterball's only fun thing to do in his life is to go to his dad's house in the city on the weekends. He mostly likes going to his dad's house because his dad is really laid back and lets him do pretty much whatever he wants. One day, he asked for new shoes from his dad and his dad said yes so they went to Sports Authority and his dad told him to get whatever he wants. After that, Butterball picked up the most expensive shoes in the store and his dad grabbed them and ran away and stole them. His mom found out about that and got really mad and told his therapist. The therapist told Butterball to get another hobbie so he wouldn't get into more trouble. He had already been interested in filming stuff that goes on around his dad's house in the "ghetto". She suggested that he make a film out of all of the things he films, so he did.

At the end of the book, Butterball ends up resolving his emotional issues at home and ends up getting accepted to Cunningham, a performing and visual arts school, for his film, The Superhero of Suburbia. I would highly recommend this book to any bully because this explains that most bullys have problems at home, and if those issues



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