This book only gets better the farther into it you read. I liked the style (so appropriate to the subject), the story (as heart-breaking as it was), the timeliness.
I read this book for my book club and it got a very high rating of 4.8/5. I, however; wasn't as big a fan. I did some searching of the Dozier school after I read the book and was surprised to find a story very similar to Elwoods... but of a white person. Maybe I had the wrong understanding of the book but it seemed like it was the telling of a wronged black person, because he was black. But... how weird it appears to be based off something that actually happened in real life.. but to a white guy. So was the point about racial injustice or about the schools injustice (for both black and white). In the end... I wasn't a fan. I guess the finding of Jerry Coopers story ruined any positive feelings I had for the book. It just made it confusing.
Elwood Curtis is a black boy growing up with a huge admiration for Martin Luther King, Jr. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida with his grandmother, after being left behind by his parents in their fleeing to California.
He is about to start taking courses at a local college and tries to find a way to get to said college by hitchhiking. He gets into a car and is arrested, as the car was stolen by the driver, and therefore is considered as guilty as the perpetrator.
He is sent to the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says is provides "physical, intellectual, and moral training to those entering its realms. That is not the course, as Elwood soon finds out.
This is a chamber of horrors, with beatings, deaths, etc being handed out like lollipops.
This was good. The ending is astounding.
Very good and readable. Story based on a similar place in Flordia. Starts at civil rights days, a reform school for kids, both black and white, but the blacks are treated very different. Follows the stories of two black kid to current day.