Reviewed by CCBC
Black pencil illustrations on buff-colored pages detail a wordless story set during the Civil War. A quilt with the North Star pattern hung on a rail fence comprises the opening page spread, which is followed by a scene showing Confederate soldiers riding across a field bordering the fence. A young white girl on the farm is doing chores. Inside the barn she sees a single eye peering out from a shock of corn. Later, she sets a biscuit from the dinner table on the barn floor; other offerings follow. Two men in search of a runaway slave leave with the extra horse they brought along still rider-less. Continue reading.
Unspoken by Henry Cole
Published by Scholastic Press on 2012
Genres: African American, Slavery, U.S. History
Reading Level: Early Childhood, Grade K, Grades 1-2
Review Source: Cooperative Children's Book Center
Buy at Powell's Books
Publisher's Synopsis: 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.