The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 198489224X Global Overview for this book
Registered by originalslicey of Kansas City, Missouri USA on 2/13/2020
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by originalslicey from Kansas City, Missouri USA on Thursday, February 13, 2020
I originally read this book about a year ago and bought a second copy of this book in Large Print Paperback to use for the Favorite Book of 2019 Roundabout.

This book was easy to read, linguistically, but difficult due to the subject matter. Reading books like this and knowing how much truth is lurking in the background always makes me angry and sad. In my everyday life, I try to remember how many people we interact with on a daily basis have suffered trauma and abuse that may be influencing their actions. We like to think people are just jerks - that they are mean, or indifferent, or uncommunicative because of their personality. We could all use some more compassion and understanding when we deal with difficult people because we don't know what they have experienced. This novel painted a harrowing tale, and after finishing I looked up some of the real-life reporting on this subject, which angered me all over again.

Journal Entry 2 by wingvalpetewing at Walnut Creek, California USA on Sunday, February 23, 2020

Released 8 mos ago (2/23/2020 UTC) at Walnut Creek, California USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

"The author chronicles the lives of black folk, focusing now on Elwood and Turner, two boys trapped in the Nickel Academy (a reform school in Florida). Trapped is the only word to describe the circumstance of teenagers in what is essentially a forced labor camp. A place where the slightest infraction is met with beatings and torture. Where major violations can result in death.

Most crushing, most cruelly neither boy deserves his punishment --not that any teenager would deserve to have their youth smashed so thoroughly and so brutally. Elwood's only infraction is to hitch a ride in a car that is stolen (something he could not know); Turner was part of a crowd of boys beating a man for exposing himself to children. Elwood is the dreamer. He has internalized the speeches of the Reverend Dr. King. He has marched for civil rights and racial justice. He believes that one day black children and white children will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Such are the lives of Nickel Boys."
This was a difficult book to read, although an eye opener. Sending it to the next reader in the 2019 Roundabout.


Journal Entry 3 by wingdark-dracowing at Ledbury, Herefordshire United Kingdom on Friday, March 06, 2020
Received - thank you.

Journal Entry 4 by wingdark-dracowing at Ledbury, Herefordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, April 23, 2020
I'm actually not 100% sure what to write in this review as maybe haven't processed this book properly. My thoughts are still bouncing around about it. Did I like it? As a book about child abuse, it's hard to say that you like it, but I did find it a good read. The style is very readable, even if the author does jump around on a occasion, which is a bit difficult to follow - the subject matter changes from one paragraph to the next with little warning and feels disjointed in places.

But the story does get to you. Elwood's story is so sad - fighting against injustice and prejudice, he ends up in a horrible situation after an innocent mistake. I have to say that the horror of the prison didn't come across as strongly as in other books of the like - it's a much more implied abuse, and the boys do occasionally find ways to fight back.

I honestly don't think the book actually needed the twist at the end. It wasn't such a huge surprise, although it did make a good ending for this tale, showing a little hope after all the sadness.

So, as I said - a confused review. So easy to spot the things I didn't like, but overall I did 'enjoy' the read.

Released 6 mos ago (4/23/2020 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off to the next reader in the roundabout ....

PARTICIPANTS
1 Valpete
2 Dar-Draco
3 Earthcaroleanne
4 Cross-Patch
5 greenbadger
6 Estelle1806
7 Fifna
8 dutch-book
9 Lamilla
10 Icila
11 Billbooks
12 Math-Girl40
13 Mcsar

Journal Entry 6 by wingearthcaroleannewing at Falkirk, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, April 25, 2020
Arrived today

Journal Entry 7 by wingearthcaroleannewing at Falkirk, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, August 09, 2020
Sorry for holding this up but I haven’t been able to read much during the lockdown.
This book is along the same lines as the one I had as my favourite last year, Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra https://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/15301707/ but not as harrowing. I’m not sure if that is why I felt a little indifferent about it. Plus, I didn’t feel any emotion in the book and wasn’t invested in any of the characters. Yes, it talks about the times when the racial segregation was still strong which is very much in the spotlight just now but I still feel it is lacking something.

Journal Entry 8 by wingearthcaroleannewing at South Croxton, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Monday, August 10, 2020

Released 2 mos ago (8/10/2020 UTC) at South Croxton, Leicestershire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sending on in the roundabout.

Journal Entry 9 by wingCross-patchwing at Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Sunday, August 16, 2020
Arrived. Thank you very much.

Journal Entry 10 by wingCross-patchwing at Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Sunday, September 06, 2020
The previous reviews made me hesitate to even read this book, added to the fact that there has been a majority of distopian or stressful books in the Roundabout. Well, I pretty soon regretted my timidity because, overall, it was a good read. I think the reserved presentation added to my understanding of the absolute relentlessness of the prejudices and mean little ways that Elwood and black folk in general meet in their daily lives, let alone in the Nickels of this world. A good choice.

Released 1 mo ago (9/7/2020 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sending to the next participant in the Favourite Read of 2019 Roundabout.

Journal Entry 12 by winggreenbadgerwing at St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 09, 2020
It's arrived, thank you!

Journal Entry 13 by winggreenbadgerwing at St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Sunday, September 20, 2020
Elwood Curtis is a clever and rule-abiding boy, brought up strictly by his grandmother, and saving money to be the first in his family to go to college. But if you're black in 1960s America sticking to the rules isn't enough, and Elwood is sent to a juvenile reformatory school for a crime he didn't commit. The brutality at the Nickel Academy is horrific. Elwood, who grew up listening to the words of Martin Luther King, is determined that he will overcome what is being done to him. Knowing that this is based on the real story of a school in Florida makes this a distressing read, however I didn't quite feel that Whitehead brought the characters to life.

Journal Entry 14 by winggreenbadgerwing at St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Friday, September 25, 2020

Released 1 mo ago (9/25/2020 UTC) at St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off to the next in the ray, estelle1806.

Journal Entry 15 by wingestelle1806wing at Clonsilla, Co. Dublin Ireland on Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Received today with a lovely postcard as always, thanks greenbadger!

Journal Entry 16 by wingestelle1806wing at Clonsilla, Co. Dublin Ireland on Wednesday, October 07, 2020
Just finished reading this book, and although the subject is horrific, I have been left kinda cold to the story itself. It felt too much like a fiction. I had some difficulty with the lingo as well, so I felt I was only understanding the outlines... I couldn't warm to the main character very much, and reading the end, it made it even worse to personify him.
And unfortunately, the racial references are still up to date...
All in all, a little disappointed by the style of the writing so I am giving it 4*.
Thanks for sharing, originalslicey.

Journal Entry 17 by wingestelle1806wing at Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, October 08, 2020

Released 3 wks ago (10/8/2020 UTC) at Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Travelling to the next reader on the roundabout.

Please let us know when you release it again...

Journal Entry 18 by wingFifnawing at Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Friday, October 16, 2020
It has arrived safely, thanks estelle1806!

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