Based on actual events, this is the tragic story of a promising, studious African-American high school student whose life is totally up ended when he tries to hitchhike to his first college course. Elwood Curtis is everything you would want a high school student to be. However, growing up in the early 1960s in a very segregated Tallahassee, Fla., made life difficult. Instead of getting to that college course he winds up in a place called the Nickel Academy. Not to give away too much of the plot, what happens at this so called school is horrendous and life-changing. The many twists and turns of the plot made this a mesmerizing read.