Promises to the Dead

by Mary Downing Hahn

A white boy helps a black child escape slavery in the midst of the Civil War

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547258386
  • ISBN-10: 0547258380
  • Pages: 208
  • Publication Date: 08/17/2009
  • Carton Quantity: 48

About the book

When Jesse went down to the marsh on that fateful day, he expected to find a turtle for terrapin soup. Instead, he comes across a dying slave woman who makes Jesse promise he’ll take her young son, Perry, to a relative in Baltimore. Aiding and abetting a slave is against the law, and it also goes against everything Jesse has been taught to believe. But he can’t break a promise to the dead, and, more important, he has to follow what he knows in his heart to be right.

     The journey is more treacherous than Jesse ever imagined. At the crossroads of a country about to plunge into civil war, danger lurks around every corner. Will these boys on the run ever find a safe haven?

     Includes an author's note.

About the author
Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn's many acclaimed novels include such beloved ghost stories as Wait Till Helen Comes, Deep and Dark and Dangerous, and Took. A former librarian, she has received more than fifty child-voted state awards for her work. She lives in Columbia, Maryland, with a cat named Nixi.


"Hahn has a marvelous touch when it comes to manipulating her story and heightening the tension in a way that keeps readers on the edge of their seats." 



"Fast-paced. . . . The action and suspense will keep readers interested." 

Kirkus Reviews  



A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year