Stolen: Five Free Boys
This book is a finalist for the 2020 George Washington Prize. The George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards.
“Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped Into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home.” By Richard Bell. ISBN: 978-1-5011-6943-4. Copyright 2019. Hardcover 336 pages.
A gripping and true story about five boys who were kidnapped in the North and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South—and their daring attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice, reminiscent of Twelve Years a Slave and Never Caught.
Philadelphia, 1825: five young, free black boys fall into the clutches of the most fearsome gang of kidnappers and slavers in the United States. Lured onto a small ship with the promise of food and pay, they are instead met with blindfolds, ropes, and knives. Over four long months, their kidnappers drive them overland into the Cotton Kingdom to be sold as slaves. Determined to resist, the boys form a tight brotherhood as they struggle to free themselves and find their way home. Their ordeal—an odyssey that takes them from the Philadelphia waterfront to the marshes of Mississippi and then onward still—shines a glaring spotlight on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a black market network of human traffickers and slave traders who stole away thousands of legally free African Americans from their families to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War.
Impeccably researched and breathlessly paced, Stolen tells the incredible story of five boys whose courage forever changed the fight against slavery in America.