by Colson Whitehead
Elwood Curtis,a Black teenager inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.,has dreams and a desire to better his life. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach his hometown of Tallahassee,Florida Curtis makes plans to get involved. An innocent mistake leads to being him being sentenced to Nickel Academy, a juvenile reformatory,where physical abuse,sadistic staff and even murder are everyday events. Elwood tries to hold onto the words of MLK Jr. in the midst of daily horrors. His friend,Turner, thinks Elwood is naive and together they make a decision that will have consequences that persist for decades. The ending of this book was a complete surprise.