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The nickel boys : a novel  Cover Image Book Book

The nickel boys : a novel / Colson Whitehead.


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.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780385537070
  • ISBN: 0385537077
  • ISBN: 9780345804341
  • ISBN: 0345804341
  • Physical Description: 213 pages ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2019]

Content descriptions

Awards Note:
Pulitzer Prize (Fiction), 2020
Subject: 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: Historical fiction.
Historical fiction.

Available copies

  • 14 of 14 copies available at York County Libraries.


  • 0 current holds with 14 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Arthur Hufnagel Public Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text) 34260000487579 Adult Area Available -
Collinsville Community Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text) 34259000480956 Adult Area Available -
Dillsburg Area Public Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text) 34001001356771 Adult Area Available -
Dover Area Community Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text) 34217000806604 Adult Area Available -
Glatfelter Memorial Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text) 34216000979825 Adult Area Available -
Guthrie Memorial Library: Hanover's Public Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text)
Bookplate: Plated 2019: In Memory and Honor of David F. Humbert, Sr.
34007002372337 Adult Area Available -
Guthrie Memorial Library: Hanover's Public Library Adults WHI Staff Access (Text) 34007002372188 Archives Available -
Kreutz Creek Valley Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text) 34261000524163 Adult Area Available -
Martin Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text) 33454005689781 Reading Room Balcony Available -
Mason-Dixon Public Library Adults WHI Fiction (Text) 34262000880605 Main Room Available -

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