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No Talking

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

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 16 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

What parents need to know

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

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4, 8, and 10 year old Written byjstsm August 3, 2009
Parent of a 17 year old Written bycrazygrl1998 October 30, 2009
This book is great for children around 10 years old my daughter and son both read it and they never wanted to stop reading it i usually have to force them to re... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 23, 2011
Teen, 16 years old Written byjudzea11 June 15, 2009

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

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