Unspoken | Scholastic Canada
Our Books
Unspoken Read an excerpt

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad

By Henry Cole   

Scholastic Inc | ISBN 9780545399975 Hardcover
40 Pages | 9.97" x 11.11" | Ages 3 to 7

A young girl's courage is tested in this haunting, wordless story.

When a farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding in the barn, she is at once startled and frightened. But the stranger's fearful eyes weigh upon her conscience, and she must make a difficult choice. Will she have the courage to help him? Unspoken gifts of humanity unite the girl and the runaway as they each face a journey: one following the North Star, the other following her heart.

Henry Cole's unusual and original rendering of the Underground Railroad speaks directly to our deepest sense of compassion.

Raves & reviews:

Praise for Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad

A New York Times Best Illustrated Book

"Designed to present youngsters with a moral choice . . . the author, a former teacher, clearly intended Unspoken to be a challenging book, its somber sepia tone drawings establish a mood of foreboding." —The New York Times Book Review

*"Moving and emotionally charged." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*"Gorgeously rendered in soft dark pencils, this wordless book is reminiscent of the naturalistic pencil artistry of Maurice Sendak and Brian Selznick." —School Library Journal, starred review

*"Cole conjures significant tension and emotional heft (his silent storytelling calls to mind Brian Selznick's recent work) in this powerful tale of quiet camaraderie and courage." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"From the title on, silence and secrets create stirring drama in this wordless picture book . . . children will be moved to return to the images many times and fill in their own words." —Booklist

"What Cole shows so superbly through his accomplished yet unpretentious pencil art-the ideal medium for the book, as it looks as if it's of the era as well as portraying the era-is the keeping of secrets. The entire family appears to know what's going on, but the extent of each character's involvement is never made explicit." —Horn Book