Bound for the Future
Child Heroes of the Underground Railroad
by Jonathan Shectman
July 2012, 215pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39727-1
$53, £40, 46€, A72
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39728-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The Underground Railroad consisted of a network of secret routes, safe houses, and coordinated assistance to fugitive slaves en route to the North and Canada. Many heroic children worked to support this historic grassroots effort, which both provided material aid to fugitives and formed the country’s first integrated civil rights movement.

Through careful, detailed consideration of a host of primary documents about the young activists who formed the Underground Railroad's underappreciated operational workforce, this book offers fresh insight to the complex question, "Who ended slavery?"

Bound for the Future: Child Heroes of the Underground Railroad illuminates the vital contributions of specific, underappreciated child activists within the extremely local circumstances of their daily work. It also provides meaningful context to the actions of these young activists within the much broader social practice of resisting slavery, and offers fresh insight into the complicated question of who was responsible for ending slavery. Through a thorough examination of these subjects, author Jonathan Shectman proves his central thesis: in many specific cases, children were the essential lifeblood of the Underground Railroad’s operational workforce. This text will appeal to wide range of readers, including young students, educators, scholars, and anyone seeking a fresh perspective on civil rights, anti-slavery activism, and U.S. history.

Jonathan Shectman is former editor of a series of science education books published by the National Science Resources Center, an arm of the Smithsonian Institution. His published works include Greenwood's Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 18th Century.


2012 USA Best Book Award Finalist, History: U.S.—USA Book News, March 1, 2013

2012 Book of the Year Award Finalist, History—ForeWord Reviews, March 1, 2013


"Bound for the Future exudes the kind of energy and compassion that characterizes the best historical writing. Jonathan Shectman has written a beautiful book—one that is at once a pleasure to read and an unsettling call to action. Read this book for the vigor of its prose, the depth of its story, and the richness of its insights."—Benjamin E. Wise, Author of William Alexander Percy: The Curious Life of a Mississippi Planter and Sexual Freethinker
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.