Did Colson Whitehead win a literary award for The Nickel Boys?

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The Nickel Boys is a novel that was published in 2019 and written by Colson Whitehead . The book follows the story of Elwood, a black boy living in Tallahassee during the formation of the civil rights movement. He wants to follow in Dr. Martin Luther King's footsteps and make...

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The Nickel Boys is a novel that was published in 2019 and written by Colson Whitehead. The book follows the story of Elwood, a black boy living in Tallahassee during the formation of the civil rights movement. He wants to follow in Dr. Martin Luther King's footsteps and make something of himself. However, he is thrown off course after making an innocent mistake and being sent to a juvenile reformatory school called the Nickel Academy. The school claims to turn boys into honest men. However, when Elwood arrives he realizes that's absolutely not the school's purpose.

Instead, the Nickel Academy is a playground for sadistic and corrupt individuals. The staff beats and sexually abuses the students. Local officials pilfer food and supplies from the school at will. Any boys who stand up against this mistreatment are likely to "disappear out back." Elwood tries to follow Dr. King's example and love his enemy while at the school. However, his friend Turner believes that in order to improve their lot in life, they'll need to take matters into their own hands. This tension drives the novel forward.

The Nickel Boys is a masterful exploration of the Nickel Academy, which really did exist. Colson Whitehead received a number of honors for his book. The Nickel Boys was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Kirkus Prize, and it was named one of the ten best fiction books of the decade by Time.

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