Sunday, October 27, 2013

No Talking by Andrew Clements

two kids shushing each other on the cover of No Talking by Andrew ClementsNo Talking by Andrew Clements. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007. 146p. (9781416909842)

Have you ever stopped to think about how much we use words? My entire job as a school librarian revolves around words. And I don’t mean just the printed words in the books, magazines and online. If I’m not talking or reading, I’m writing. Never realized how much writing there would be after graduation.

Even with this blog, if I’m not reading a book then I’m writing about it or as is the case with the Top Ten Tuesday meme then I’m writing about multiple books.

What sparked these thoughts? Well, it’s something that I’ve thought about off and on for a while, but also I just finished reading No Talking by Andrew Clements.

Goodreads Summary:
The fifth-grade girls and the fifth-grade boys at Laketon Elementary don't get along very well. But the real problem is that these kids are loud and disorderly. That's why the principal uses her red plastic bullhorn. A lot.

Then one day Dave Packer, a certified loudmouth, bumps into an idea -- a big one that makes him try to keep quiet for a whole day. But what does Dave hear during lunch? A girl, Lynsey Burgess, jabbering away. So Dave breaks his silence and lobs an insult. And those words spark a contest: Which team can say the fewest words during two whole days? And it's the boys against the girls.

How do the teachers react to the silence? What happens when the principal feels she's losing control? And will Dave and Lynsey plunge the whole school into chaos?

This funny and surprising book is about language and thought, about words unspoken, words spoken in anger, and especially about the power of words spoken in kindness...with or without a bullhorn. It's Andrew Clements at his best -- thought-provoking, true-to-life, and very entertaining.

My Review:
Andrew Clements writes great school stories for upper elementary and middle school kids. I’ve read School Story and Frindle aloud to 3rd and 4th graders and they really enjoyed them. This book would also be a good read aloud.

The plot is interesting and engaging. The clever use of three word sentences is very well done. Kids can relate to the characters and teachers/administrators are not made out to be big, bad, mean adults.

I’ll be recommending this book and Clements’ other books to 3rd-5th graders for years to come. Any school kid who enjoys books where kids stand up for something and make a difference will probably enjoy No Talking.

No Talking by Andrew Clements gets four stars = it's worth the read and the re-read

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

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