book cover of The Nickel Boys
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The Nickel Boys

(2019)
A novel by

 
 
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning number one New York Times best seller The Underground Railroad, 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 Florida.

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.

Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida 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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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Used availability for Colson Whitehead's The Nickel Boys

Hardback Editions

August 2019 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Nickel Boys: the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-7088-9941-2 / 978-0-7088-9941-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2019 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Nickel Boys
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-385-69396-6 / 978-0-385-69396-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


July 2019 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Nickel Boys: A Novel
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-385-53707-7 / 978-0-385-53707-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

July 2020 : UK Paperback

Title: The Nickel Boys: the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-7088-9942-0 / 978-0-7088-9942-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2019 : Paperback
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Title: The Nickel Boys: A Novel
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 1-984892-24-X / 978-1-984892-24-9
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


July 2019 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Nickel Boys: the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-7088-9943-9 / 978-0-7088-9943-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


January 2019 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Nickel Boys
Author(s): Whitehead Colson
ISBN: 0-385-54544-4 / 978-0-385-54544-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

August 2019 : Audio CD

Title: The Nickel Boys
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 0-655-61403-6 / 978-0-655-61403-6
Publisher: Bolinda audio
Availability: Amazon AU   


July 2019 : Audio CD
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Title: The Nickel Boys: A Novel
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN: 1-984891-37-5 / 978-1-984891-37-2
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


July 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Nickel Boys
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon   


July 2019 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Nickel Boys
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon AU   


July 2019 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Nickel Boys
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2019 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Nickel Boys: A Novel
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


July 2019 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Nickel Boys: A Novel
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

July 2019 : Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Nickel Boys
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


July 2019 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Nickel Boys: A Novel
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   


July 2019 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Nickel Boys: the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU