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 despair—until a bird delivers a letter of support written by somebody outside the prison. Every day more missives arrive until the prisoner escapes his fate on wings made of letters.
Simple illustrations convey plenty of rich symbolism to provoke thought and discussion. A letter from the author provides more information about Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign.
JACQUES GOLDSTYN has earned a high profile in Quebec- and French-language media as an illustrator and political cartoonist. He is a regular contributor to Les Débrouillards and has twice won Le Grand Prix du Journalisme Indépendant for editorial illustration. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.
"This deserves to be everywhere children are learning about the wider world."
"Originally published in French...and dedicated to imprisoned Saudi activist Raif Badawi, this is sure to spark discussions of human rights and social justice."
"This book could be used in classrooms as a strong starting point to conversations and the important issues brought to light will tug on all readers’ heart strings."
"There is a great deal of sadness expressed in these wordless pages; at the same time, the author injects slight touches of humor that allow the book to make just the right impression for those children who will hold it in their hands. "
"An inspiring, thought-provoking story about the power of the written word, especially fitting for anyone addressing social justice issues with children."
"Universal... An elegant picture book tribute to the power of organizing and the plight of political prisoners, best suited for older readers. A first purchase."
"Powerful...an inspiration for all ages."
"Goldstyn was inspired by the letter-writing campaigns of human rights organization Amnesty International. His book is an accessible and inspiring tribute. "The pen is mightier than the sword" lives on."
"This is sure to spark discussions of human rights and social justice."
"Children who follow the story in this book will see how many voices can indeed bring about change. They will come to appreciate that everyone, anyone, can make the world a better place if they try."