Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Blue Notebook: A Novel by James Levine…

The Blue Notebook: A Novel (edition 2009)

by James Levine M.D.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4469323,454 (3.88)80
Title:The Blue Notebook: A Novel
Authors:James Levine M.D.
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2009), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:prostitute in India, very graphic

Work details

The Blue Notebook by James Levine M.D.

  1. 00
    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.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 80 mentions

English (90)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  All (93)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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 |
Wow, what can I say about this book? Nothing like I've ever read before. I need to digest it for awhile...... ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To the girl in the pink sari
with the rainbow trim.
She stood in front of
the bright blue cage.
First words
I have a break now.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038552871X, Hardcover)

Dear Reader:

Every now and then, we come across a novel that moves us like no other, that seems like a miracle of the imagination, and that haunts us long after the book is closed. James Levine’s The Blue Notebook is that kind of book. It is the story of Batuk, an Indian girl who is taken to Mumbai from the countryside and sold into prostitution by her father; the blue notebook is her diary, in which she recalls her early childhood, records her life on the Common Street, and makes up beautiful and fantastic tales about a silver-eyed leopard and a poor boy who fells a giant with a single gold coin.

How did Levine, a British-born doctor at the Mayo Clinic, manage to conjure the voice of a fifteen-year-old female Indian prostitute? It all began, he told me, when, as part of his medical research, he was interviewing homeless children on a street in Mumbai known as the Street of Cages, where child prostitutes work. A young woman writing in a notebook outside her cage caught Levine’s attention. The powerful image of a young prostitute engaged in the act of writing haunted him, and he himself began to write.

The Blue Notebook
brings us into the life of a young woman for whom stories are not just entertainment but a means of survival. Even as the novel humanizes and addresses the devastating global issue of child prostitution, it also delivers an inspiring message about the uplifting power of words and reading–a message that is so important to hold on to, especially in difficult times. Dr. Levine is donating all his U.S. proceeds from this book to help exploited children. Batuk’s story can make a difference.


Celina Spiegel

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:51 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Batuk, an Indian girl, is taken to Mumbai from the countryside and sold into prostitution by her father; the blue notebook is her diary, in which she recalls her early childhood, records her life on the Common Street, and makes up beautiful and fantastic tales about a silver-eyed leopard and a poor boy who fells a giant with a single gold coin.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

James A. Levine's book The Blue Notebook was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
108 wanted1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.88)
1 1
2 12
2.5 1
3 29
3.5 16
4 55
4.5 21
5 34

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,254,625 books! | Top bar: Always visible