Christy's Reviews > No Talking

No Talking by Andrew Clements
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Jan 19, 2010

it was amazing

If No Talking hadn't been on the Oregon Battle of the Books list, I wouldn't have read it. Imagine my surprise. A 5-star book out of the blue... or rather, out of upper-elementary aged realistic fiction without a hint of high drama - no war, no death, no troubled homes. It's really a simple plot: Loquacious fifth-grader Dave Packer, inspired by Mahatma Ghandi, decides to stop talking for a full day. The incessant jabber of fifth-grade girls, however, thwarts his plan and draws the whole grade into a 48-hour "No Talking" boy-girl challenge. I mean, how good can that book be? Remarkable, as it turns out.

For starters, the story was well enough explained that my 2nd-grader could follow it, and timed so well an hour flew by as I read. Clements presented authentic adults (teachers and principal), and captured the vision of teetering-on-the-edge-of-growning-up fifth-graders marvelously. In the end, a beautiful moment of human triumph, as glorious in an elementary school scale, as Ghandi's.
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