Skip to main content

The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine

The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine is the fictional tale of a child prostitute. Fifteen-year-old Batuk has spent six years as a sex slave, living in a cage, in Mumbai after being sold by her father. Besides her friendship with another sex slave, a boy named Puneet, which can't last, all that Batuk has for herself is a pencil and a blue notebook for writing her story.

Based on Mayo Clinic-affiliated Levine's experiences while traveling with a United Nations-sponsored group in India, Batuk's story is riveting, haunting, and presented in horrifyingly graphic detail. Graphic to the point that I felt nauseous, yet told with a cool, almost clinical precision in the first person, this book will stay with me forever.

Here's a clip from an article in Twin Cities Daily Planet

It took Levine only 58 days to finish his first book. “Writing my first novel was not difficult,” says Levine. “I love writing—I get lost in it.” Despite his love of writing, he didn’t write The Blue Notebook simply because he wanted to write a book. “The point of this book,” says Levine, “wasn’t to write a book. The point is to create a movement.”

With the Blue Notebook, Levine is indeed creating a movement. His publisher plans to publish the book in 17 countries, enabling Batuk’s voice to be heard across the globe. Additionally, Levine isn’t taking a penny from the book’s U.S. proceeds. He’s donating every dime to help exploited children.

“I don’t want this book to raise awareness of child prostitution,” says Levine. “This book demands something more. We need to end child prostitution.”

My overall personal rating of The Blue Notebook is an A, as much for subject matter as for writing style and plot.


StephanieD said…
Just found my next book. I need something deep enough to dive into. Thanks!

Popular posts from this blog

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor

The May selection for my work book club is Jon McGregor's If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (2002). The novel follows various individuals in one neighborhood on a particular day, an ordinary day that ends with a terrible tragedy.

Here's the short set of questions I e-mailed to book club members yesterday, along with my own responses.

Did you have a favorite character, or one that spoke to you the most? Who and why?
The father with the burned hands is the one who stayed with me the most after reading the book.

Did you notice that the day on which the events unfold is actually the same day that Diana, Princess of Wales, died? Does knowing that make any difference in how you see the story? I wouldn't have made the connection if I hadn't just watched some of the coverage of the Royal Wedding. To quote the author, he chose this particular day because his novel is about how ". . .everyday miracles of life and death go unwitnessed in favor of celebrity and sensati…

Current Little Pleasures

Girls' weekend in Omaha with Maya and her friend.

Happy Buddha:  Sweet Orange and Cedar Shower Foam from RITUALS

Time for iced or blended peppermint mochas.

Shopping for little gifts for Maya's Japanese pen pal.  They were matched through their schools, and we're hoping she can stay with us for a few days this summer.

The flock of wild turkeys, foxes, and other assorted wildlife entertaining us this fall.

Thanksgiving plans to visit my sister.

Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas is back!

Current Little Pleasures

Christmas Keepsake Week, July 14-23, filled with Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Sending Christmas (in July) cards with a Peace greeting to some of my favorite people.  Why not??

Scott Tube Free Toilet Paper--nothing to recycle.

Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream--always!

Baby Driver movie.

Seeing photos from my sisters and niece on Facebook during their Italy trip.  I can't imagine they will want to come back home!

What are your current little pleasures?