What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is nothing to be concerned about here, and lots to cheer.
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.
Families can talk 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?