His last novel, the Pulitzer-winning Underground Railroad, told the story of two slaves in 19th Century Georgia who escape their plantation.
The author, Colson Whitehead, based that book on testimonies of former slaves. His new one, The Nickel Boys, is also rooted in real events following the discovery of unmarked graves at a prison reform school in Florida.
Arthur G. Dozier School had a long reputation of abuse, beatings and torture. Despite this, it remained an official part of the Juvenile Justice system until it was closed in 2011.
A year later unmarked graves were discovered containing the remains of students and 51 bodies were unearthed. This year a further 27 suspected graves have been found at the 1,400 acre campus.