Monday, July 16, 2007

No Talking by Andrew Clements

Mark and Lyndsey are both fifth graders at the same elementary school. Mark thinks of Lyndsey as a blabber mouth, whos head would blow off if she had to be quiet for five minutes. Lyndsey thinks of Mark as a boy who thinks he is better than all fifth grade girls, but really is the same. One day, Mark decides to imitate Ghandi, and goes to school one day with the goal of not saying one word to anyone, including his friends. The inconveince of this for Lyndsey is that Mark and Lyndsey were partners for a project that had to presented on this very same day. Mark wiggles his way out of giving the presentation, and has done quiet well with achieving his goal untill fifth grade lunch, where he makes Lyndsey a challenge. The challenge is this: Mark and all the fifth grade boys challenge Lyndsey and all the fifth grade girls to two complete days of silence. There were rules however. They were allowed to answer teachers, but with only three words. Also, when the students went home, they had to use the honor system, and honestly report any talking done outside of school. Each word spoke was worth a point. After the two days were up, the gender with the least amount of talking outside the rules won. The signifigance of this was that this specific group of fifth graders were known as the Unshushables. They had a reputation of not knowing when or how to be quiet. As the contest goes on, the teachers and principle become relieved of the noise, but irritated from the short answers and little participation in class. The principle tries to but an end to it, but becomes convenced herself, through Mark, that actually this silence is quiet a good idea.

This book is fabolous for the reading age that it is wrote for. It teaches a great lesson of what some quiet time can actually do for a person. It also teaches the fifth grade girls and the boys in the story, that really, neither one is better than the other. They also learn that although there is such thing as talking to much, that talking really is almost an essential thing for life. Friendships are built, and trust and responsibility are displayed throughout the book.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9

Reviewer Age: 17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Athens, Ohio