What readers think of The Nickel Boys, plus links to write your own review.

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The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead X
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2019, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2020, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michael Kaler
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There are currently 4 reader reviews for The Nickel Boys
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Jessica Elkins

Nickle Boys- excellent history lesson applies to today
This book should be a part of every Florida high school history curriculum. Colson's writing informs the reader of the horrors of the "school" and the complicity of the nearby town's authorities and asks important questions about how the long term abuses were continued and condoned.
Vicki

Almost as good as The Underground Railroad
I’m starting to think Colson Whitehead is a god. The fact that he can write so well, on so many topics, and entertain and get a message across, it’s just a WOW for me. This is a pretty dark story and I’m sure some will not like it for that reason alone. Read it anyway, even if you start hearing about how depressing it is. It’s based in facts and unfortunately these things happened. Although Whitehead has of course written a fictional book, it’s close enough to the truth to make it important. He is a wonderful writer and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Power Reviewer
Sandi W.

There were only 5 ways out ...
Thanks to Netgalley and Doubleday books for a chance to read and review this ARC. Published Jul 16, 2019.

Another winner by Whitehead. Having read Underground Railroad I was excited to see this book. Although feeling that this book was somewhat milder than Underground Railroad, I did enjoy the twists and turns that this book provided.

Whitehead based this fictional book on the true to life experiences of boys incarcerated at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna Florida. In his acknowledgements he gives a number of other books and articles he used as reference for this book.

In the early 60's just as Martin Luther King started to become a household name, a young black boy hitched a ride and found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, all the while just trying to get to college. Having done nothing wrong, and just for the fact that he was black, Elwood was arrested and ended up being sent to the juvenile reformatory Nickel Academy.

Nickel Academy, where young boys were sent, and some never returned. With the White House and Black Beauty hanging over them, they became slaves to "The Man', whether they were Caucasian or Negro. There were only 5 ways out - age out, have the court intervene, have family remove you, accumulate the needed amount of merits, or disappear. Often boys disappeared at the hands of the Academy - Elwood chose to run.

There were some twists in this story that surprised me. Although a fictional story I believe for the most part Whitehead tried to tell the story of the Dozier School for Boys, then as is so like him, he added his own touch in the way of these twists and turns. Proving that is one of the reasons that Whitehead books are so worth the read.
pam crowley

for young adults
I was hoping for a bit more true history - but this is a great book for young adults.
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