The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys, a 2019 novel by American novelist Colson Whitehead, won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Many times I’ve not been all that impressed by Fiction winners — but this is an emotional story very well told.  Despite the horrors, it’s almost uplifting by the end.

It was based on the real story of the Dozier School, a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and had its history exposed by a university’s investigation.

It was named one of TIMEs best books of the decade.

It is the follow-up to Whitehead’s 2016 novel The Underground Railroad, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. …

Set in the 1960s, the novel follows Elwood Curtis, a studious African American from Tallahassee with a sense of justice, who is adjudicated delinquent and sent to Nickel Academy, a juvenile reformatory in Eleanor, Florida, after riding in a stolen vehicle …

He befriends Jack Turner

The Dozier school allowed beatings, rapes, torture, and even murder of students by guards and employees. Some 55 graves were uncovered on school grounds by December 2012.

The New Republic: “The Nickel Boys is fiction, but it burns with outrageous truth.


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