The old 19th century gaol in Tamworth became a juvenile prison with the ironic title I have given this review of Colson Whitehead’s novel The Nickel Boys. Never more than 20 boys - spooked by the fact of hangings which had once taken place here of adult males - other mistreatment and corruption by the juvenile prison Superintendent who built a weekend retreat on the coast from proceeds he creamed from the accounts - feeding the boys substandard food just a part of the rort - however, mirrored so much of the terrors inflicted on the children of the Nickel Boys “establishment”. It is so terrible and sad the story that I was almost reading through fingers across my eyes. Based on accounts of similar stories in Florida - any juvenile prison - anywhere in the world (google “Don Dale” in Australia’s Northern Territory for example) is little different - bashings, sexual abuse, solitary confinement - and yes, death! Colson’s book should be mandatory reading for every politician, for every judge or magistrate. And be enough added to his already impeccable oeuvre to bring him the Nobel Prize for Literature!