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Publisher's Summary

A haunting yet astonishingly hopeful story of a young Indian prostitute who uses writing and imagination to transcend her reality.

An unforgettable, deeply affecting tribute to the powers of imagination and the resilience of childhood, The Blue Notebook tells the story of Batuk, a precocious 15-year-old girl from rural India who was sold into sexual slavery by her father when she was nine. As she navigates the grim realities of the Common Street - a street of prostitution in Mumbai where children are kept in cages as they wait for customers to pay for sex - Batuk manages to put pen to paper, recording her private thoughts and stories in a diary.

The novel is powerfully told in Batuk's voice, through the words she writes in her journal, where she finds hope and beauty in the bleakest circumstances.

Beautifully crafted and deeply human, The Blue Notebook explores how people, in the most difficult of situations, can use storytelling to make sense of and give meaning to their lives. All of the U.S. proceeds from this novel will be donated to the International and National Centers for Missing and Exploited Children (

©2009 Spiegel & Grau; (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"The Blue Notebook is a deeply moving story and a searing reminder of the resilience of the human spirit. It is a tribute to how writing can give meaning and help one transcend even the most harrowing circumstances. The voice of Batuk, the unforgettable child prostitute heroine, will stay with the reader a long, long time." (Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Thank you for opening my eyes...

I just finished this and then sobbed for an hour. Thank you for reminding me that not every child grows up in a nurturing enviroment. I am empowered to do something for others, thank you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

truth is so painful.......

Like they is not safe in this world to be a young girl. This story of a young Indian girl sold into prostitution is repeated several times daily in every country. This is raw painful truth. Difficult to listen to at times, yet the story is told so incredibly well, as a matter of fact. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

profound - moving - unstoppable

hard hitting fiction from a blisteringly strong minded writer.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Christy
  • LaGrange, IN, USA
  • 06-07-10

wish i would have been warned

This really is a well written book but I must say that no matter how sad the reality of the story was and how the truth of this matter should always be told I cant help but wish I was warned how graphic this audiobook is. To someone who dislikes graphic sex scenes BEWARE this is from one "page" to another nothing but graphic violent sexual abuse with children. so I wouldnt have bought it if I would have known.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Worst audio reading I've heard

Some of the voices for the characters is absolutely terrible. It's hard to take the book seriously even though it's such a serious topic. I've read thE actual book and the audio narration doesn't do justice.

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • HARRISBURG, PA, United States
  • 05-07-10

very well done

This book was really well done -- the narrator was just perfect. The story is quite gripping and Batuk is a great character to know. From her mother she learns to live inside herself and this is how she survives.

  • Overall

A must read

This story had me pinned from the very beginning. A harrowing story told with raw detail and inspiring strength from the eyes of the main character. Beautifully written

0 of 2 people found this review helpful