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Unspoken

A Story From the Underground Railroad
Cole, Henry (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Unspoken
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Item Details

In this wordless picture book, a young Southern farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding behind the corn crib in the barn and decides to help him.
Authors: Cole, Henry, 1955-
Title: Unspoken
a story from the Underground Railroad
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 26 x 29 cm
Summary: In this wordless picture book, a young Southern farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding behind the corn crib in the barn and decides to help him.
ISBN: 0545399971
9780545399975
Branch Call Number: FICTION Col
Statement of Responsibility: Henry Cole
Subject Headings: Stories without words African Americans Fiction Fugitive slaves Fiction Underground Railroad Fiction
Genre/Form: Historical fiction
Topical Term: Stories without words
African Americans
Fugitive slaves
Underground Railroad
LCCN: 2011043583
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Jan 04, 2014
  • greenacres rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A suspenseful tale told through pencil sketches!. An amazing book.

Henry Cole’s story about the Underground Railroad in the United States during the Civil War is wordless or “unspoken”, as suggested in the title. There really is no need for words because the detailed, sepia-toned pencil drawings tell the story so well.

In this book, a young farm girl, while gathering eggs, hears a noise in the hen house and discovers someone hiding there. The fearful eyes tell her that this person is a runaway, likely making his way to Canada via the Underground Railroad. Acting with compassion and courage, she secretly brings food and water to the man.

Later, members of the Confederate Army ride through the farm yard, searching for the runaway. Fortunately, their search is fruitless.

The reader of this story never sees the face of the escaped slave, just the eyes and hands – but this is enough to convey his desperation and fright.

The young girl and the runaway communicate without words, because again, there is no need. In fact, this haunting story is so moving and powerful because of what it doesn’t say but instead portrays through the incredible illustrations.

This picture book is sure to evoke much discussion, and with its wealth of illustrative detail, readers will want to return to it again and again.

Author Henry Cole grew up on a dairy farm in Virginia where he can remember hearing older relatives tell stories of the Civil War. A former teacher, he is the author of many other children’s picture books.

Nov 19, 2012
  • klints rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A delightful, wordless picture book about a girl who finds a runaway slave. I highly recommend.

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