Book Notes: The Nickel Boys

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Read Mar 25, 2021 - Mar 30, 2021

Set in the 1960s, The Nickel Boys follows the story of a bookish Black teenager who, in a heartbreaking turn of bad luck, finds himself thrown in a Florida reform school.

The school, based on a real-life such school, is more focused on exploiting an abusing its wards than on educating them. There is, of course, segregation and unapologetic racism.

The Nickel Boy]s is also a story of friendship, the costs of doing what’s right, the healing effects of facing one’s past and, through it all, of survival (with scars and all).

It is not an easy read – there is plenty of violence and abuse. But it is also poignant and, in an odd way, warm, despite the lack of a happy ending (spoilers).

Book Highlight

How to get through the day if every indignity capsized you in a ditch? One learned to focus one’s attention.

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