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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

No Talking by Andrew Clements

No Talking
Dave Parker has no tolerance for incessant talking by girls. In one book that he reads, he finds out that Gandhi didn't speak one day a week to bring order to his mind. He tries his own mini experiment on not talking. He coughs instead of giving an oral report with Lynsey. They are just two of the nice, smart children at Laketon Elementary School.

The fifth graders are named "The Unshushables" because of all the talking. A special contest is started by Lynsey and Dave. The fifth graders have a contest to see whom really speaks less - boys against girls. They organize their own rules for the contest. One of the rules is that there is a three-word limit. It is Lynsey who suggests a two day contest.

This might have started out as boys against girls, but it becomes all about cooperation. It was never about kids against authority. The staff learns more than the children from this grassroots movement. The fifth graders find alternative ways to communicate and they grow closer because of their commitment. Fifth Graders should read this book, but third and fourth graders will enjoy looking up to fifth Graders. I give this book, the students, and staff of Laketon Elementary School an "A".

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