No Talking

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
No Talking Book Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Ear-to-ear-grinningly delightful school story.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

It's a story that even reluctant readers can love about good-hearted children and adults who grow in compassion and understanding.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Positive, compassionate characters.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is nothing to be concerned about here, and lots to cheer.

Wondering if No Talking is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byJimL October 30, 2013

Best. Premise. Ever.

Brilliant premise. Awesome execution. So much wisdom. So much fun.
Adult Written bymadgirlmarz October 26, 2011

boys against girls

this book is great. i'm 10 and i'm in 5th grade and its a great book. i'm doing my project on that book.. its good 4 kids and kids can learn to t... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 18, 2011

My opinion about this wonderful story!

Love it because it is just really fun to read, and you would always want to keep reading so you could know what was going to happen next!
Kid, 10 years old March 4, 2020

Awesome!!!!!

My class red it and we all enjoyed it a lot

What's the story?

Dave's fifth grade class is called "The Unshushables" by their teachers because of their constant talking. His grade is also unusually immature when it comes to boys and girls getting along with each other.

When Dave reads that Gandhi didn't talk for one day each week, he is intrigued and decides to try it out himself. But he only makes it until lunch before getting into an argument with Lynsey, the leader of the girls, and they end up making a bet: two days of no talking, boys against girls. Whichever side talks less, wins. Not talking, though, is harder than it seems, and has all sorts of unintended consequences -- including a confrontation with the principal, who has been trying to get them to stop talking for years.

Is it any good?

OK, let's just state it baldly: Author Andrew Clements is a genius. Like this one, his books are short, easy to read, and ear-to-ear-grinningly delightful. They have no villains, sex, violence, drugs, or off-color language or humor. And they are thought-provoking, funny, often moving, deeply wise, and diamond-sharp in their clarity and understanding of the world of middle-grade children.

Clements' classic is Frindle, but NO TALKING is up to that standard. He packs enough intellectual and emotional depth to keep avid readers thinking and discussing, and his straightforward, conversational style will appeal to reluctant readers. The content will keep discussion groups hopping, while the fluid joy of the story keeps individual readers and listeners grinning with pleasure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about silence and civil disobedience.

  • Why does the silence seem so powerful?

  • How does it change everyone's perceptions?

  • What do you think of the standoff between Dave and the principal?

Book details

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate