Download Epub Format â The Nickel Boys PDF by â Colson Whitehead Colson Whitehead confirms his position as a phenomenal writer with this ostensibly heartbreaking and harrowing fictional storytelling, but which is informed by the darkest, most shameful, and ugliest period of American history explored through the lives of two young boys, set in the early 1960s Civil Rights time and all the horrors of the Jim Crow era in Frenchtown, segregated Tallahassee, Florida Whitehead writes in understated and subtly nuanced prose, all the effective in delivering its relentless and emotionally hard hitting punches that live on in the memory long after the reader has finished reading the book Elwood Curtis is a bright and hardworking boy who lives with his beloved and strict grandmother who keeps him on the straight and narrow He is caught by the fire and ideals of Martin Luther King s spiritual rhetoric and philosophy, and the fig A world of injustice or the truer, biding worldThe Nickel Boysmelds When They See Us with The Shawshank Redemption and Colson Whitehead s faultless instincts as a novelist Some books are 5 stars because they strike a chord with your own specific reading tastes some are 5 stars because they are so good everybody should read them This book is firmly in the latter category The Nickel Boys is about a reformatory school for boys effectively a prison during the Jim Crow years, based on a real life institution and the horrendous abuses that took place there Whitehead treats this material with care it is a finely calibrated balancing act that conveys the truth of what occurred in such places, without resorting to shock value or stepping over the line into gratuitous detail This is a novel that achieves its emotional resonance not through explic
The Florida Dozier School for Boys opened in 1900 and didn t close until 2011 In this novel, it is renamed the Nickel Academy and the story is partially based upon true events that took place during the early 1960 s Some of the boys, both black and white, had committed crimes while others didn t have families or were runaways The school didn t provide an academic education or help of any kind Instead, these young boys ages 18 21 were subjected to brutal beatings, sexual abuse, and unimaginable torture which led many to their deaths Elwood winds up at the school by making an innocent decision with unforeseeable consequences Being a southern town in the deep south during the 1960 s, the court s decision was racist Once incarcerated, Elwood finds friendship with fellow captive in the cynical Turner The novel follows these boys as revised review 5 stars It was quite a sight, all the boys, big and small, hustling in unified purpose, paint on their chins, the chucks wobbling as they ferried the cans of Dixie As part of their community service, The Nickel Boys paint buildings Dixie White, while avoiding sadistic and potentially fatal beatings delivered via a leather strap named Black Beauty The boys, cheaper than a dime a dance and you got for your money, or so they used to say, are in segregated juvenile detention in Jim Crow Florida for crimes of malingering, mopery, incorrigibility, or being an orphan, just as the generations before them had served time for vagrancy, changing employers without permission, and bumptious contact, i.
e bumping into a white person or failing to step off th Tallahassee, Florida, 1960 s and Elwood a young black boy has big plans He believes MLK that change is coming soon, that non violence and forgiveness with eventually free their people Allow them the same rights as whites But, this is the Jim Crow south and Elwood, with a belief in his bright future, will find himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time Sent to the Nickel Academy, said to be a place that straightens out those on the wrong place As Elwood tries to survive in this hellish place, mistakenly called a school , his idealistic beliefs are beyond challenged.
This is a difficult book to read Not because of the writing but because the subject is a horrible one What happens to the boys in this school is hard to process, hard to und Before starting this novel, I had read several interviews with Colson Whitehead, and reading them added to my understanding of The Nickel Boys Mr Whitehead chose to write about a piece of history which even he had known nothing about before 2014 a reform school for boys which operated for decades and where children were treated with cruelty and brutality A deeply disturbing and shocking novel about two black boys in the 1960s who are sent to the so called reform school, The Nickel Academy, who become friends and who undergo massive, horrific psychological and physical abuse during their stay there.
The Nickel Boys is not a long novel, but it does comprise a lot of anger, helplessness, pain and despair I am certain I will reread this novel again, for its intensity and narration This is not a novel that lea
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 FloridaAs 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 In The Early S, 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 On To 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 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 AcademyBased On The Real Story Of A Reform School In Florida That Operated For One Hundred And Eleven Years And Warped The Lives Of Thousands Of Children, The Nickel Boys Is A Devastating, Driven Narrative In Colson Whitehead s latest historical masterpiece, a horrific, real life reform school for boys in Florida is fictionalized as The Nickel Academy, a century old institution where teenage boys, black and white, are sent for the slightest crimes truancy, petty theft, disrespecting a white person, or even the crime of being abandoned by their parents Extreme abuse, rape, racism, and brutal murder are ruling principles, and the only way to escape is to run away or suffer death at the hands of the sadistic school administrators The story is narrated by Elwood Curtis, an ambitious young black man who idolizes Dr King, looking to his great words as a guide for his own way of existing in the world He is on his way to col