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Unspoken: A Story From the Underground…
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Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Henry Cole

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2814440,152 (4.37)2
Member:cleoppa
Title:Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad
Authors:Henry Cole
Info:Scholastic Press (2012), Hardcover, 40 pages
Collections:Read
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Read November 2012

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Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole (2012)

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Although there is no words, "Unspoken" is a very powerful and thought provoking story of a young girl who finds a runaway slave in her barn and helps keep him or her safe from the officers looking for runaways. There is no text in this story, but as you go through the pages you are able to create your own writing and dialogue through the illustrations. The young girl and the slave speak no words to each other but the girl continuously provides the slave with company and food. You are able to see the young girls fear as she is bringing food back and forth from the house but that fear goes away once she is in the barn giving the slave belongings. The most powerful illustration in this story for me was towards the end when the girl is going to the barn at night to see the slave, but the slave is not there. The slave left behind his or her toy for the little girl, I am guessing as a thank you, and in the next illustration the girl is lying in bed looking at the Northern Star (the star the runaway slaves used as a sign they were headed in the right direction) with the doll the slave left for her. I believe that the message of this story was to show to bravery and courage of people and that there is good in this world. ( )
  bridgetmcnamara | May 4, 2015 |
This is a historical fiction book that is depicted using solely illustrations. The author tells the story in a way that allows the audience to fill in the thoughts and follow along, noticing the symbols and expressions on each page. Beginning in a quiet setting, this story takes us on a journey of courage that leads an escaped slave to safety.
  Emilywilson23 | Apr 7, 2015 |
I was interested to see how a story regarding the Underground Railroad could be portrayed in a wordless picture book. I was entranced to follow this story – the author/illustrator does an amazing job conveying the fear, the humanity, and the hard choices that are made. It was a wonderful book.
Curricular connection can be made with social studies and language arts for third and fourth grade. Social studies connections can be made by looking at the story and then researching the Underground Railroad and making connections with the factual events that are discovered; language arts can be connected by having the students write a story to go along with the pictures.
  tona.iwen | Apr 3, 2015 |
Summary: This wordless book is about a little girl during the civil war, who one day while getting eggs from the hen house hears a noise in the corn field. She doesn't see anyone, but she knows someone is there. and she is afraid. At night she goes back to the hen house, taking with her a piece of bread. Each day she is taking food. One day some men comes to her house to let her family know that a slave has ran away, and that there is a reward for him. At night when she goes back to the hen house she finds a rag doll on the floor, and the runaway slave gone.
Personal reaction: I really liked this book. Even though it is wordless it's very expressive and exciting.
Extension: I would use this book in my classroom to tell this story, as well as asking my students to help in telling a story from the pictures. I think it would be fun to hear what they would come up with.
  SusieDell | Mar 25, 2015 |
Summary: Unspoken is about a young girl who comes across a runaway slave on her family’s farm. She sneaks food out to him, and when soldier’s come looking, she is silent, and he thanks her with a doll. It is told completely in pictures, with no words.

Personal Reaction: This was a cute, quick read. The underlying story was sad, of course, being about slavery. But the girl’s selflessness in keeping the young slave a secret, and bringing him food, was uplifting.

Classroom Extensions:
1. Teach kids more about the Underground Railroad. Have them talk about what they would do in that situation.
  yelhsajoh | Mar 25, 2015 |
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To a librarian friend, who long ago ignited the spark that lit the lantern.
--H.C.
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(wordless)
Author's Note:When I was very little, I sat at the dining room table during Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, and listened to elderly relatives tell Civil War stories - stories they had heard directly from people who had lived during the war!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545399971, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:55 -0400)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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