The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
Books | Fiction / Historical / General
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In this Pulitzer Prize-winning follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 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 and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation's best" (Entertainment Weekly). Look for Colson Whitehead’s bestselling new novel, Harlem Shuffle!
National Geographic Books
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"I wasn’t blown away, but it was good. I really liked that it never felt too heavy-handed. It dipped its toe occasionally, but never dove in, and instead kept its focus on using its characters and their story to make its point. The prose was often distracting and even began to feel a little too pleased with itself after a while. Because of that, large chunks of the narrative felt sluggish. Structurally, I was unsure, but then the ending paid off and the choices made sense."
"Hard book to read, but was very glad I stuck with it! Excellent writer!"
"A wild story about a niche of history that is rarely highlighted. "
"Shocking and enthralling. "