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Letters to a Prisoner
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Letters to a Prisoner

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Told entirely through illustrations, Letters to a Prisoner is a wordless story about the power of hope and the written word. Inspired by Amnesty International's letter-writing campaigns to help free people who have been jailed for expressing their opinion, the book tells the story of a man who is arrested during a peaceful protest. In solitary confinement, he begins to des ...more
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published September 15th 2017 by Owlkids
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  318 ratings  ·  113 reviews


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Jon Nakapalau
Beautiful book that introduces young children to the important (but complex) concept of political prisoners - highly recommended.
Dave Schaafsma
A young girl is with her father at a protest. He is arrested and thrown in jail. He is depressed, feeling isolated, but his daughter sends him a letter. The guards destroy it, but others keep coming, and they can’t destroy them all.

You want to encourage kids to begin early in acting against injustice, to speak up when they see wrong? This picture book for kids is silent, on behalf of the silenced, the imprisoned. As the author explains:

As a long-time human rights advocate, this book nonetheless
...more
Shadowdenizen
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reading this book.

Wow! In the space of a few short, concisely-drawn pages, this book pulls more on the heartstrings than books many times it's length; this book literally moved me to tears as I read it. (And ironic that I was approved and finished reading this on the 4th of July, our Independence Day here in the states, when so many people around the globe are STILL denied basic human rights!)

As a long-time human rights advocate, this book non
...more
PattyMacDotComma
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: libraries, schools, community groups
5★
Disclaimer: I’m a member of Amnesty. This is a picture book, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, this one is a doorstop of a story! The author explains at the end:

"The first time I took part in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights letter-writing marathon, all sorts of people were involved—from the young and old to the famous and not-so famous. Despite our differences, we all had one thing in common: the desire to write to a person who had been unjustly imprisoned for his or her ide
...more
Frannie Pan
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible.
I'm speechless.

Letters to a prisoner is a silent graphic novel written for the Amnesty International's "Write for Rights" campaign, to supporto those who've been imprisoned for expressing their ideas.

It is silent, but this is the perfect demonstration that, sometimes, you don't need words.
It was so amazingly and unexpectedly powerful it took my breath away. It might have taken me less than 3 minutes to fly through it but it gave me the lesson of a lifetime: you cannot imprison an ide
...more
Laura
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
When you are imprisoned for your values, for what you believe in, the point is to break you down. To leave you without hope, as this wordless story tells the story of one prisoner, torn from his family for believing in something different from what the government believes in.

And then, he gets a letter, and more letters, and more letters telling him to not despair, that he is not alone.

This book is based on the program that Amnesty Internatinal does, writing letters to prisoners who are in jail
...more
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This wordless picture book communicates quite a bit through a story of a man who is arrested for peaceful protest, and is encouraged (and eventually freed) with the aid of letters written by people around the world.

The story is understandably simplified, with the opposing political factions in the beginning simply denoted by different-colored shapes. Letters become symbolic of flight and freedom all through the story, and a lovely fantastical image helps to illuminate this idea even more at the
...more
Wayne McCoy
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
'Letters to a Prisoner' by Jacques Goldstyn is a wordless picture book inspired by Amnesty International's letter-wrting campaigns.

A young girl is with her father at a protest. He is arrested and thrown in jail for the protest. He thinks he has been forgotten, but he gets a letter from his daughter. That letter is found and destroyed by the guards, but when more letters keep arriving, the guards can't keep up.

There are no words, so the story could be read alone The illustrations feel a bit cart
...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Letters to a Prisoner is a wordless story inspired by Amnesty International’s letter-writing campaigns to help free people who have been jailed for expressing their opinion, The book is wordless and tells the story of a man arrested during a peaceful protest. It is the story of hope, a story of the power of the pen to help, as well as the idea that everyone can do something to free these political prisoners. The illustrations are simple yet convey a powerful message. There is a letter from the a ...more
Molly
This is a gorgeous (mostly) wordless children's book that beautifully captures the importance of letters for political prisoners. Having worked in a correctional facility, I can say with confidence that the letters inmates of any kind receive are one of their most important tethers to the world outside -- and this book beautifully renders that concept. The author also includes information about how to get involved with Amnesty International's letter writing campaigns at the back, should a reader ...more
Jilly
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a really beautiful, easy to understand book about human rights and Amnesty International. This it would be a great classroom book for teaching about human rights, empathy and connotation since it is wordless.

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.
Evelyn Gray
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Inspired by Amnesty International's letter writing campaigns, this wordless story brought tears to my eyes. ...more
Donna Mork
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wordless
Wordless book. But with back matter. Man stands up for his beliefs and is imprisoned. People of all kinds write letters to him and he is able to escape. Based on Amnesty Internationals Letter Writing Marathon (Write for Rights).
Linda V
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7-16-12-17
Thank you Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for a fair review.

When a peaceful protester becomes a despairing political prisoner a letter brings hope back into his life. Soon letters arrive from all types of people around the world. Showing the power of words and how they can lift someone up in their lowest moments, the prisoner uses the plethora of letters to make wings and fly from his cell. The lovely illustrations tell the story as this is a wordless book.

This is a powerful book and a great
...more
Jim
I loved this! I’m always impressed when authors can tell stories without words, but this was especially powerful.

The idea that people can be imprisoned for disagreeing with the government makes me shudder. Though it seems like that’s what our current (U.S.) administration would like to do.

But the idea that we can make a difference in these people’s lives by something as simple as writing letters is amazing.

It made me want to start writing letters.

If you like sequential art of any kind check
...more
Alyssa
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and Owlkids Books for this ARC!

Letters to a Prisoner is a colorfully illustrated, hopeful story about a man wrongfully imprisoned who receives letters from around the world. Without any text (other than the author's note and a few scribbles on some letters), this is a speedy and beautiful read. I could easily see sharing this with ESL learners and the refugee kids I work with, and I hope to get a copy to pass on to my nieces.
...more
Donna Maguire
I'm not sure what I expected from this book having read the description and finding out that it was only illustrations, but I've read it now (if read is the right word) and it is brilliant!! The illustrations portray so much and the whole concept of the book is executed so well, it deserves a massive 5 stars - brilliant book and very thought provoking! ...more
Fabiola
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fumetti-manga
Letters to a Prisoner is a silent graphic novel. No words, no dialogues: only by using illustrations, Jacques Goldstyn tells us the story of a peaceful protest, during which a man is arrested for expressing his own idea.
The man, who is also a father, didn't commit any crime, but the opinion he had manifested is considered as such, so he gets arrested and sent to solitary confinement, where he begins to fall into despair. The hours pass, so do the days; the voiceless man loses the hope of seeing
...more
Emma Davis
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Letters to a prisoner is a description of why the Write for Rights campaign, led by Amnesty International, is a worthy cause for all people of the world. Author Jacques Goldstyn shows his passion for written words without using any words at all. The book begins with a father and daughter attending a peaceful protest together. The police step in, and things get ugly very quickly. The father is taken to prison for his participation in the protest. He attempts to kill time and keep faith alive that ...more
Shiloah
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wordless story that sparks lots of conversation.
Barbara
This wordless picture book follows a man who is imprisoned after attending a peaceful protest with his daughter. Somehow things turn violent, and he is hauled off to prison where he languishes for weeks. While he tries to amuse himself through drawing and remembering the good times with his family, it is hard to keep his spirits up, even while several animals reach out to him. But one letter arrives, giving him hope, and then another, and another, seemingly from everywhere. The illustrations tha ...more
Storywraps
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is for all those who hate injustice and are willing to put pen to paper and fight for truth and liberty. This wordless picture book is full of heartbreak and punishment brought upon a man and family when they are exercising their right to peacefully protest something they strongly believe in. Then the unthinkable happens. The father is apprehended by the police and thrown into prison because of his views.

He falls into despair as the days tick on and on and he is maltreated by the pris
...more
Janet
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher -
Told entirely through illustrations, Letters to a Prisoner is a wordless story about the power of hope and the written word. Inspired by Amnesty International’s letter-writing campaigns to help free people who have been jailed for expressing their opinion, the book tells the story of a man who is arrested during a peaceful protest. In solitary confinement, he begins to des
...more
Becky B
A man peacefully protesting is unjustly arrested and thrown into prison by the opposition. The guards snatch away any letters he gets, but when word of his plight gets out, a flood of letters helps him get out of prison.

The layout of this feels a bit like a graphic novel, but the size and length also feel like a regular picture book. It really be categorized as either one. The author’s note says that this is written in honor of Amensty International’s Write for Rights that helps get encouraging
...more
Tasha
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This wordless picture book is almost a graphic novel in style. A father and daughter head out with protest signs marked with red circles that match the little girl’s red balloon. Waiting for them though are police in deep blue, who speak with blue squares. The red circle protesters are beaten with batons and taken away to jail. The girl’s father is held in isolation, dreaming about his daughter and their time together. Suddenly, the man gets mail but the guards don’t approve of it. More and more ...more
Nicole
This is the story of a man unjustly accused and falsely imprisoned under harsh conditions. It may sound too harsh to be a children's picture book, but as a wordless book, it's up to the reader to create the story. As a wordless picture book, it is beautifully told and very easy to understand.

It speaks volumes for those who are sent to prison under pretenses, and in this day and age, we need stories out like this more than ever. "Letters to a Prisoner" beautifully highlights the importance of Amn
...more
Mary Brickmeier
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Letter to a Prisoner was a beautiful illustrated story of a young father that gets wrongly arrested for protesting for what he believes in. Living in The United States where we have freedom of protesting I am not very familiar with Amnesty International, which is an amazing organization that brings light and knowledge to prisoners that are wrongfully in prison. Through different booktubers that I follow and doing my own research I am learning so much more and I am so very thankful for this book ...more
BookishOwlette
One Line Review: Wordless Stories convey powerful messages.

Jacques Goldstyn instantly captured my attention from the first page. Moved by this rich and heartfelt tale, I ventured on dying to know how it ends. 

Sometimes, words aren't strong enough to convey important things, but images never fail to. These illustrations, unaccompanied by words, lead to a very open interpretation. It makes it accessible to everyone from any background. It enables us to apply our own thoughts, impressions and narra
...more
Charles
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow.

At first blush, you might look at this and think it’s merely for children. It’s 44 pages, contains no words, has simple illustrations, and can be read in under five minutes.

If that’s your take away, I’m so very sorry.

This was brilliant, and honestly brought me to tears. Yes, the story has fantastical elements and certainly simplifies what wrongful imprisonment looks like for political prisoners, but in the end, it makes these topics accessible to all audiences.

It’s a wonderful book to read t
...more
Rebekah Crain
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

This short graphic novel story is, more or less, told solely through pictures. There are no words to read except in one place, and then only as accessories to the story rather than the story itself. In the story a man is unjustly imprisoned. His cell is dreary and he is without hope, that is until he begins to receive letters from the outside world. Each one brings a light and spirit of encouragement which keep him going until he is free.

What an uplifting story! Thank you to the author, p
...more
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