Unspoken, written and illustrated by Henry Cole, is the winner of the sixth annual Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award. The award is given by Antioch University Los Angeles’ Education Department and will be formally presented on June 15, 2013, in Los Angeles at the sixth Annual Children’s Literature Conference.
In Henry Cole’s brilliant picture book story, a young girl growing up on a farm risks everything helping someone she never meets escape slavery by using the Underground Railroad. This wordless picture book tells a story of camaraderie and bravery using beautiful pencil drawings. Unspoken was published in the United States in 2012 by Scholastic, Inc.
The 2013 Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award Committee has named three other award winners: Tomie dePaola for the Lifetime Upstander Award, Luis J. Rodriguez for Community Upstander Achievement Award, and Innosanto Nagara for Upstander New Talent Award for his new book A is for Activist.
Three books have been cited by the Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award Committee as Honor Books: The Family Tree, written by David McPhail and published by Henry Holt; Sophia’s War, written by Avi and published by Beach Lane Books; and My Name is Parvana, written by Deborah Ellis and published by Groundwood Books.
Established in 2008, the Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award honors books in which the main character recognizes injustice and acts in a way to right the wrong. This award honors new children’s literature that best exemplifies the ideals of social action and in turn encourages young readers to become agents of change themselves.
Members of the 2013 Horace Mann Upstanders Award Committee were: Fred Chapel (Core Faculty in the Education Department, Antioch University Los Angeles); Daniel Hutterer, Chair (Current Teaching Credential Student, Antioch University Los Angeles); Lisa Lepore (Library Director, Antioch University Los Angeles); Deborah Magana (Program Coordinator/Credential Analyst, Antioch University Los Angeles); J. Cynthia McDermott (Chair of the Education Department, Antioch University Los Angeles); Claudette S. McLinn (Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature, Long Beach, California); Cherry O’Meara (Children’s Book Seller, Los Angeles, California); Ken Pienkos (Former Librarian, Current MFA/Creative Writing Student, Antioch University Los Angeles).