Every year Mr. Bender carefully selects a book for each month of the school year. These books are always connected by a particular theme which changes from year to year. This year’s is a really powerful theme, but we aren’t going to tell you what it is just yet.
At the end of each month, we will share the Book of the Month with you in the hopes you will discuss it further with your children. And while you’re at it, see if you can figure out Mr. Bender’s theme!
April’s Book of the Month, Unspoken, is told through only pictures. In this beautifully illustrated book, “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.” Watch a slideshow of the book below.
Here are some resources for you to use at home:
- Before you read, pose this question from the back of the book, “What would you do if you had the chance to help a person find freedom?”
- Henry Cole reads Unspoken.
- Interview with Henry Cole.
- The Underground Railroad: Student Activity