No Talking by Andrew Clements

Dave Packer is determined to go for two days without talking. But what started out as an experiment inspired by his report on Mahatma Gandhi has become something much bigger. Now it is a contest between the 5th grade boys and girls at Laketon Elementary School. Can they go two days without saying a word (or at least no more than 3 words at a time if teachers demand it)? The bigger question is will this contest become a problem or a learning experience?

On first, No Talking seems like a light hearted story of competition between 5th grade students. However, as the contest continues, Clement’s story hits on some deeper issues. He clearly shows the power of communication and the art of negotiation and compromise. A simple story about young students becomes a metaphor of life and our interactions with others. No Talking is an entertaining book for middle grade readers, but also provides excellent material for discussion.

Recommended ages--9 -12 years old

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