The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) - Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

By Colson Whitehead

  • Release Date: 2019-07-16
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 1,654 Ratings


NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In this Pulitzer Prize-winning follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.
Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation's best" (Entertainment Weekly).

Look for Colson Whitehead’s bestselling new novel, Harlem Shuffle!


  • The Nickel Boys scary and suspenseful

    By brennansgranmom
    I have been interested in the tales of the big juvenile “school” that was here in Florida decades ago. The truth is tragic but the author conveyed the inhumanity which was inflicted on these boys for decades. I appreciate the references and links noted for additional information. I really do want to read of how the archeological dig progressed.
  • Very great read in this day and age

    By James Njoro
    The book drew me in from the first chapter to the last. It was a great read and I loved it. Not only does it highlight racism and problems with reform institutions back then but also in today’s modern reform institutions. It was an easy and refreshing read; I’d recommend it to a sixth grader... there’s not too much hard vocabulary and the author is clear and concise. Also has a great twist in it... a shocker!
  • Filled with unnecessary detail

    By Dopehope32
    I was looking forward to reading a fiction book about a real situation. Not hundreds of pages of details unrelated wot the true story of the White House Boys.
  • The Nickel Boys

    By Jessely!
    Interesting, informative story based on real events. But I could not get into the writing style.
  • Stellar writing

    By Red Baroness
    This is an incredibly well-written book. The pace was beautiful, the narrative n and point of view switches were seamless. I always enjoy tales that involve well-done fact/fiction such as this. Another notch on the belt for Mr. Whitehead.
  • A chilling account of racism and abuse of humanity

    By kaykaybean13
    These people will stay with me for long after I’ve finished the book. I read the book from start to finish without putting it down. At times, I found my hand on my heart and it was racing over the terrifying life these young children were forced to endure at the hands of incredibly evil and criminal autho
  • Wouldn’t recommend

    By drew9-
    Disjointed and rushed
  • The nickel boys

    By imabuttie
    Brilliant!!!! Couldn’t stop reading....surprising and excellent denouement....can’t wait to recommend to my friends and family...imabuttie
  • Great

    By Cut wood
    Great book. It takes you into the world of the boys at Nickel. Well written and a sad but important story. It’s such a shame what went on.
  • The Nickel Boys

    By Joanabake
    Harrowing. If this doesn’t illustrate some of the abuses of the justice system, I’m not sure how to do it more graphically