The Nickel Boys

This book!!!! So many of you recommended it and I am so glad I read it. This book has been on nearly every notable “best books” list and it won the Pulitzer Prize this year, so I knew it would be good. It’s set in the sixties in Jim Crow-era florida at a hellish reform school, and it’s (horrifyingly) based on a true story. Elwood Curtis is the boy who sets out to do everything right. He’s heading into his senior year of college, working part time to help support his grandmother, and is about to start taking classes at the local college. He believes he’s “as good as anyone” (MLK’s words) and is determined to do great things with his life. One day, he makes the smallest, most innocent mistake and he’s sentenced to time at the Nickel Academy. The Nickel Academy claims to turn wayward youths into upstanding men but the reality is that it’s a sadistic, terrible, corrupt place of abuse. He befriends cynical Turner, and the boys form a close bond. The ending crushed me. The whole book crushed me. But please, please read this book, I promise you it will be one of the best books you read this year!

Author: Colson Whitehead