A fictitious novel about a real reformatory school in Florida that existed in the Jim Crow era, “The Nickel Boys” broke my heart. I think perhaps it broke the heart of everyone who read this book before me and I will hazard a guess that it will break the hearts of everyone who will read it after me.
The fact that this was a real place makes this even more devastating.
Boys or “delinquents” as they called them, were sent to Nickel for a variety of reasons. Many did nothing wrong. What was offensive at the time, was the color of their skin or the way they talked. Some of their crimes were minor. Regardless, their punishment did not fit the crime. In “The Nickel Boys” Elwood Curtis was sent to Nickel for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What he and others experienced at Nickel was nothing short of a travesty. There are in fact no words.
A powerfully heartbreaking story (and a must-read) that packs a huge punch.
Thank you to my local library for loaning me a copy of the audiobook, which was brilliant.
Published on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram.