Title: The Nickel Boys
By: Colson Whitehead
Call #: Fiction White.C
Though he’s been writing and publishing for decades, Colson Whitehead drew major national attention after the success of his 2016 book The Underground Railroad. The book is an excellent must-read, but I definitely feel The Nickel Boys is an absolute masterpiece.
This book chronicles the experience of Elwood and the other ‘nickel boys’ during their time in a juvenile detention facility in the early 1960s. While this is a work of fiction, it is based on research that Whitehead did into the Dozier School of Boys, a real former juvenile detention facility in Florida.
The experiences of the boys are harrowing, and Whitehead’s descriptive writing brings these characters to life with haunting success.