Book Discussion with Ann Kingman

Let’s talk books! An Unlikely Story invites patrons to a book club-style discussion with Ann Kingman, publishing industry expert and former host of the popular podcast “Books on the Nightstand.” Ann will lead a discussion about THE NICKEL BOYS by Colson Whitehead, author of the Pulitzer prize-winning and National Book Award-winning novel THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. To prepare for the book club, An Unlikely Story has signed copies of THE NICKEL BOYS available for purchase. 

ABOUT THE BOOK:
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller 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 one hundred and eleven 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.

Event date: 
Friday, August 16, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
An Unlikely Story (Conference Room)
Staff Pick Badge
The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780385537070
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Doubleday - July 16th, 2019

Signed Copies

Can't make it to an event? We're always happy to set a signed copy aside for you or put one in the mail. Just add the book to your cart, and in the comments section, let us know that you want a signed copy, and tell us if you'd like the author to personalize the inscription (when available). If you would like it personalized, be sure to place your order at least 24 hours before the event. Personalized books must be paid for in advance.

Share YOUR Unlikely Story! facebookfacebooktwittertwitterinstagraminstagram