Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Nickel Boys; Colson Whitehead

AUTHOR:  Colson Whitehead
PUBLISHER: Doubleday/Random House Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2019
FORMAT: combo/eBook/audio
RATING: - 5/5

Set in the 1960s, Jim Crow era, The Nickel Boys is a work of fiction but, based on an actual place: The Dozier school, a horrible reform school in Marianna, FL that remained in operation for 100+ years. In this story that reform school is known as The Nickel Academy.

Elwood Curtis is a smart black boy who is being raised by his strict grandmother. He's on the right path, headed for college but, one bad decision lands him at the Nickel Academy. It's a place where young men are brutally abused: tortured and sexually assaulted. Despite all he must endure he tries to keep Dr. Martin Luther King's messages and ideals on his mind and in his heart.  His friend Turner is more skeptical, he calls his friend naive. The boys try to follow the rules and not buck the system knowing full well that their lives are at risk.

The Nickel Boys is a relatively short book. It's a tough yet important story about a terrible time in US history. I thought the story was well written, heartbreaking at times, with a rather shocking and abrupt ending.


  1. I listened to this and didn't love it as much as people who've read it in print seemed to. I think I might need to revisit it in print.

  2. I haven't read any books by this author. I really should rectify this!

  3. I still have not read this, but because of so many positive reviews, it is on my list.

  4. Yes the switch at the end is pretty shocking and masterful. I thought this was excellent last year.

  5. Not my usual read but I've added it to my list because everyone seems to love it.

  6. I have this on my shelves and am really looking forward to reading it! Spring break began today so maybe this coming week.

  7. I loved this book so much! I read it with a reading group and we could not stop discussing it.

  8. On my nightstand. Just need to wait until I can concentrate on something for more than 90 seconds.


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