logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
The Nickel Boys - Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys
by: (author)
4.60 50
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era... show more
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is 'as good as anyone.' Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides 'physical, intellectual and moral training' so the delinquent boys in their charge can become 'honorable and honest men.'
In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear 'out back.' Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion 'Throw us in jail and we will still love you.' His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.
The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.
show less
Format: audiobook
ISBN: 9781984891389
Publisher: Random House Audio
Minutes: 420
Edition language: English
Bookstores:
Community Reviews
Just Olga and her books
Just Olga and her books rated it
5.0 Inspiring, tough, appalling. A must read.
I thank NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for providing me an ARC copy of this book, which I freely chose to review. In brief, this is an extraordinary book. Beautifully written, haunting, it vividly portrays and era and a place (the early 1960s in Florida), and illustrates the very best and...
Chris' Fish Place
Chris' Fish Place rated it
5.0 Gotten as part of the Penguin Reading Rewards program
It was a strange feeling to be in the middle of reading this book when the events of this past weekend occurred (the shooting in El Paso and Dayton respectively). It's an excellent book, but the term happy reading is not one that you would apply to it. Therefore, if you are having a tough summer but...
Sheila's Reads
Sheila's Reads rated it
5.0 THE NICKEL BOYS by Colson Whitehead
This is one time I cannot give a short synopsis of the book because I would give the story away. I didn't know what to expect as I opened the book but I read the majority of it in one afternoon. The Nickel Boys is well written. I knew it would be a difficult book to read especially since I have b...
Lucy Goodfellow Reviews
Lucy Goodfellow Reviews rated it
5.0
This is the type of book you want to savour even though you can read it all in one sitting.Colson Whitehead has done it again, The Nickel Boys is a gritty and horrifying story based on real events. Truth and fiction blend seamlessly in Whitehead's prose and the duel narratives force the reader to qu...
runner
runner rated it
3.0 A tough read
I found it difficult to engage with this story. Elwood Curtis grows up in 60's Florida, a time of race riots yet balanced with that the wonderful influential and lyrical leadership and direction of Martin Luther king. One small mistake results in Elwood being enrolled in a reform school, a home for ...
Other editions (3)
Books by Colson Whitehead
On shelves
Share this Book
Need help?