The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys, it is hard to say much without alluding to spoilers but I will say much of the joy of Whitehead is just how accessible and readable his writing is.  I have the confidence to recommend his work to anyone and not just my avid reader friends. He had the perfect balance of writing about the big issues and making a grand statement without leaving the experience too harrowing for the reader. It is a true skill keeping a novel readable without losing ant of the gravity of the context.


In The Nickel Boys Whitehead takes the reader through the civil rights movement in the John Crow era. We follow two boys who have been sent to the infamous Nickel Academy and what life at the school deals them. Whitehead always manages to pull off some conceptually brilliant moves and what he does in this novel does not disappoint. The characters the reader encounters are vivid and compelling, the writing is easy to fall into.


Do read The Nickel Boys if you loved The Underground Railroad, this one also has much to love and yet is brilliant in its own right. Do read The Nickel Boys if you haven’t if you haven’t read Whitehead before, you will not be disappointed. There is much to discover and love.

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