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The Nickel Boys - Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys
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4.53 75
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.
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Format: audiobook
ISBN: 9781984891389
Publisher: Random House Audio
Minutes: 420
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Abandoned by Booklikes
Abandoned by Booklikes rated it
5.0 The Nickel Boys
Honestly not much to say besides this book stayed heartbreaking from beginning to end. Whitehead does so much with the language while reading this book you may end up cringing at times. Seeing how boys who were unlucky enough to be sent to the Nickel Academy (white and black) were treated by suppose...
My Never Ending List
My Never Ending List rated it
4.5 The Nickel Boys
I listened to this novel as I painted our fence in the backyard. This small, section of fence should have taken just a few hours but when I finally made my way back inside, I realized that my morning was gone and I was working into the afternoon. I know for a fact that I’d stopped a few times while ...
Thewanderingjew
Thewanderingjew rated it
5.0 The unfair, brutal history of reform schools comes to life.
Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead, author; Bahni Turpin, narrator Nickel Boys is based on a reform school, Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, which truly existed in Florida. So, although this is a novel, a work of fiction, the terribly brutal behavior was common practice, the racism and the inequity, and...
milkysilvermoon
milkysilvermoon rated it
4.0 Verbrechen, die nie gesühnt wurden
Tallahassee (Südflorida) Anfang der 1960er-Jahre: Der 16-jährige Elwood Curtis lebt bei seiner Großmutter in einem schwarzen Ghetto, nachdem seine Eltern abgehauen sind. Der farbige Jugendliche ist ein glühender Fan von Martin Luther King und träumt davon, aufs College zu gehen. Er legt viel Fleiß a...
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...
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