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The Nickel boys : a novel

Author
Whitehead, Colson, 1969- author.
Title
The Nickel boys : a novel / Colson Whitehead.
Format
Book
Edition
First edition.
Published
New York : Doubleday, [2019]
©2019
Description
213 pages ; 22 cm
Summary
1960s Florida. Kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood Curtis is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South, one mistake is enough to destroy the future. He is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men." In reality, the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." He meets Turner, who knows that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. A decision creates repercussions that will echo down the decades. -- Adapted from jacket.
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men." In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.
Subject headings
Florida School for Boys--Fiction.
Abuse of administrative power--Fiction.
African American boys--Abuse of--Fiction.
African American teenagers--Fiction.
African Americans--Southern States--Social conditions--Fiction.
Racism--Fiction.
Reformatories--Fiction.
Reformatories--Corrupt practices--Fiction.
African Americans--Civil rights--Fiction.
Male friendship--Fiction.
Teenagers--Fiction.
Frenchtown (Tallahassee, Fla.)--Fiction.
Florida--Fiction.
Genre heading
Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Historical fiction.
Historical fiction.
Bildungsromans.
ISBN
9780385537070 (hardcover)
0385537077 (hardcover)
9780345804341 (pbk.)
0345804341 (pbk.)
9780385537087 (eBook)
9780385693967 (Canadian hardcover)

Holdings

Library
Blmgtn - Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library
Call Number
PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
Location
Checked out Due: 11-05-2020
Note
Library
Columbus - University Library of Columbus
Call Number
PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
Location
In Transit Between Libraries
Library
Indpls - IUPUI University Library
Call Number
FIC W 2019
Location
Checked out Due: 10-26-2020
Library
Indpls - IUPUI University Library
Call Number
PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
Location
Stacks
Floor
4th Floor
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Library
Kokomo Library
Call Number
PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
Location
Kokomo Library - Bestsellers
Floor
1st Floor
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Library
South Bend - Schurz Library
Call Number
PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
Location
Stacks
Floor
5th Floor
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Library
Southeast Library - New Albany
Call Number
PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
Location
Reserve Desk
Floor
2nd Floor
On Reserve At
Southeast Library Reserves/7 day loan, 1 renewal limit
Instructor
Common Experience