Bound for America: The Forced Migration of Africans to the New World

Book review by
Katherine Kearns, Common Sense Media
Bound for America: The Forced Migration of Africans to the New World Book Poster Image
This book gives slavery a human face.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence

Some graphic paintings of suffering men, women, and children.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there are graphic paintings of suffering men, women, and children.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Imagine enduring the Middle Passage from Africa to America--a nightmarish journey, with victims packed in areas little more than coffin high. This picture book-size volume takes readers through the outrages of slavery by combining narrative with vivid illustrations. It gives slavery a human face, often using the words of slaves and contemporary observers to describe the suffering.

 

Is it any good?

BOUND FOR AMERICA uses its title as an unhappy pun, as the book exposes the difference between immigration by choice and dehumanizing coercion. Second in a projected seven-part series called From African Beginnings, this well-researched history focuses on the escalation of slavery in the New World and its dire effects on both American and African cultures. It is carefully organized in concise chapters that keep the story clear even when the historical context is very meaty.

Careful integration of text and illustrations enhances the impact. Eight handsome paintings by Floyd Cooper hold the book together so that the narrative remains in the context of his soft but graphic paintings of suffering men, women, and children. The book tells slavery's dirty secrets, often quoting slaves and contemporary observers. It clarifies not only the personal sufferings of individuals but also slavery's disastrous effects on African culture.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the legacy of slavery. What most surprised you in this book? Is the legacy of slavery still evident today? How so?

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate