Join us for West Branch's monthly book discussion group! We read a variety of contemporary fiction and non-fiction and meet once a month for a thought-provoking conversation.
Please register for in-person, as seating is limited. Contact discussion facilitator Dani Linn at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or for a Zoom link to join us virtually if you're new to the group.
Ask at the West Branch Circulation Desk for print copies; your copy will be on the hold shelf if you're registered.
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.
Based on the real story of a reform school 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 and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation's best" (Entertainment Weekly).