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The Blue Notebook by James Levine M.D.
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The Blue Notebook

by James Levine M.D.

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4749334,891 (3.87)80
THE BLUE NOTEBOOK, James A. Levine's first novel, tells the haunting story of Batuk, a 15-year old girl whose family, living in the Indian countryside, is in such poverty and debt that she is sold into sexual slavery and lives in a cage on the streets of Mumbai. Batuk is just one of many girls forced into prostitution, but against the odds, she manages to put pen to paper, writing stories of her life that help her transcend and make a certain sense of her daily existence. The novel is powerfully told in Batuk's voice, through the words she writes in her journal. Searing, moving, and surprisingly hopeful, THE BLUE NOTEBOOK explores how people, in the most difficult of circumstances, can use stories to understand and give meaning to their lives.… (more)
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    Sold by Patricia McCormick (Pickle115)
  2. 00
    Push by Sapphire (thekoolaidmom)
    thekoolaidmom: Similar subject matter, pov and the idea that education is the path to freedom
  3. 00
    Lovely Green Eyes by Arnošt Lustig (labfs39)
    labfs39: Although The Blue Notebook is set in the streets of Mumbai and Lovely Green Eyes is set in a Nazi brothel, the horror of child prostitution is unflinchingly portrayed without compromising the beauty and yet-enduring innocence of the children.
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» See also 80 mentions

English (90)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
So sad! I read this in a single day. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
Not finished with this audio book yet. It's tough material -- about the life of an East Indian girl sold into prostitution in Bombay, told in the form of her journal. Some of the writing and observations are wonderful. My only criticism is that some sections were very matter of fact and others were deeply philosophical, with little transition between the two. I found that somewhat jarring. Perhaps it would be different in written form. It certainly gave me insight into a very different world from the one I live in. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
This story is about a young girl with a vivid imagination sold into sex slavery when she was 9 years old. The book is both wrenching at times and uplifting. Almost unbelievably, Batuk learns to read and write and tells her life story on pieces of paper and a blue notebook in one of the cages of the child prostitutes of Mumbai, India and then in the confines of a plush hotel while at the disposal of the cruel son of a wealthy man. The stories of these children are tragic but a reality of the world. The author, a doctor, was moved to write this story upon finding a girl writing at the entrance of her Mumbai cage.

I listened to the audio and it was excellently read with authentic Indian accent, so that added much to the book. This story will touch you and teach you. There's nothing more educational than foreign travel, but if you can't go there, you can be there in books. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
Review: The Blue Notebook by James Levine.

This is well written book that would break anyone’s heart. Some may not be able to read it because of the subject mater and the graphic detains of child sexual abuse. This is not an enjoyable read but its life and it’s real. I don’t know how I was able to get through the book but it did hold my interest because this topic is spread world wide. The setting of this story is India. The novel offers an insight into India child sex ring. The topic of child rape or even child prostitution is a horrifying subject and by reading this book challenges the reader to pay attention to what is happening half way around the world and some cases not far from where you live.

It’s a short book, (Thank God), narrated by a young girl of fifteen who was sold at the age of nine by her parents because they had debts and needed the money. The young girl’s name is Batuk. At a young age she became ill with tuberculosis and was sent away for months to a clinic to heal. That is where she learned to read and write by a caring nurse’s aide who favored Batuk. Once Batuk was able to go home she sensed some tension among her parents and siblings. Then at nine years old her father took her miles away and sold her to a brothel owned by Bamaki Brilla in Mumbal, India.

Batuk, only nine years old, a virgin, was placed in front of five men and they bid on her virginity. Then Batuk managed to get a note book and pencil that her owner dropped and hid it away in her very small room so she could write down different day’s events that happened to her since the day her father left her. There were other rooms which she called cages, but to here she imagined her room beautiful and soothing when she only had a small cot and not much more. Two cages down from her she got to meet a young boy prostitute named Puneet who became her friend. There are graphic details of what they did to him also so he couldn’t enjoy sexual pleasures.

Through all the horrors Batuk always seemed somewhat cheerful and hopeful by writing stories in her blue note book. The brothel needed space for new younger girls and boys so now that Batuk was older, maybe fifteen; she was sold to a rich man for his son’s pleasure. Now, she has lost the only friend she had, Puneet and she knew she would never see him again.

Even though the authors sequence of explicitly detailed human atrocities is profoundly disturbing in this second part I think the author wanted the reader to understand the horror of child sexual abuse and the extreme impotence of it violence even if it feels and sounds sickening. It’s the author’s intent to relate social awareness…..

This is the second part of the story where the horrific traumatizing scenes break Batuk’s soul to where she will never recover from. I just don’t see any means in detailing the second half because the entire book is disturbing but it’s a powerful story needed to be told even through all the graphic parts. A short story but astounding powerful……
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
This story is as deeply moving and touching as it is shocking and infuriating. I don't think there are many books that deal with child prostitution and the subject is obviously a disturbing one. The author treats his main character Batuk, who is sold by her father at age 9, with great respect and sensitivity, without glossing over the horrendous crimes that are being commited against children. The book is astonishingly beautiful in places,as well as being completely gut-wrenching. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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To the girl in the pink sari
with the rainbow trim.
She stood in front of
the bright blue cage.
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I have a break now.
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Batuk er ung indversk stúlka sem ætti að vera að leika sér, læra og feta fyrstu skrefin út í lífið. Í stað þess er hún lokuð inni í nöturlegu búri í fátækrahverfi í Mumbai þar sem hún er neydd til að uppfylla kynlífsþarfir ókunnugra karla. Batuk spinnur upp ævintýri um silfureyga hlébarða í bláu minnisbókina sína um leið og hún segir frá botnlausri grimmd, niðurlægingu og örvæntingu með rödd barnsins sem hefur glatað sakleysi sínu.Bláa minnisbókin er áhrifamikil saga af fórnarlömbum barnamisnotkunar, saga sem nístir hjartað en vegsamar jafnframt vonina og máttinn sem býr í orðunum. Höfundurinn er læknir sem kynntist hlutskipti indverskra götubarna þegar hann var við störf í Mumbai. Sagan er skáldverk en byggir á reynslu Levine, skýrslum hans og rannsóknum.
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