In Colson Whitehead’s highly anticipated follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys depicts a reform school and the abuse it dealt out at the expense of boys in Jim Crow-era Florida. Altering the lives of thousands, The Dozier School for Boys sought to reform juvenile delinquents yet knowingly employed assorted abusers to inflict punishment in the name of said reform. Eventually, The Dozier School for Boys was closed. But much like the Nickel Academy, for many, it was too little, too late.
The novel specifically follows the story of Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee who is vehemently supporting the Civil Rights Movement. In an attempt to get involved in physical protests, Elwood unknowingly participates in car theft and is subsequently arrested and sent to Nickel Academy.
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