This Pulitzer Prize-winning follow up to The Underground Railroad is based on the real story of the Dozier reform school that operated for 111 years and damaged the lives of thousands of children in Jim Crow-era Florida. The novel dramatizes a shocking piece of recent American history (the school was still operating until 2011) through the story of Ellwood Curtis, unjustly sentenced to the Nickel Academy in 1960 where systematic abuse was the norm. The book would never have been written if Whitehead had not come across the story of the real Dozier school in 2014 when the State of Florida was exhuming the official graveyard prior to selling the property and many unmarked graves were uncovered. This is a powerful and beautifully written novel.

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