No Talking

No Talking

Illustrated by: Mark Elliott
For Ages: 8 - 12
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"You have the right to remain silent." However...

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.
Book Details:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 160 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416909835 | 
  • June 2007 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
List Price $19.99

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Topics
Who are the "Unshushables"? How do the teachers at Laketon Elementary feel about the "Unshushables"? Have you ever been part of a noisy group? Why do you think this was the case?
Who is Gandhi and how does he get Dave Packer into trouble? Who helps turn Dave's experiment into a grade-wide contest? What are the terms of the contest?
Who is Mrs. Hiatt? List some of the unusual steps she has taken to try to handle the fifth-grade class. Have her efforts worked? Has she given up?
What surprises Mrs. Hiatt at the fifth-grade lunch on the second Tuesday of November? How do Mrs. Marlow, Mrs. Akers, and Mr. Burton each react to the surprise?
What challenges do the fifth graders encounter as they get through the first hours of the contest? What loopholes do they find that allow them to make noise? What are the differences between talking and noise?
What does Dave decide is the right word for the contest? Why do you think he chooses this word? Would you choose this same word to describe the contest?
Why does the author title Chapter 13 "Language Lab"? What experiment does Mr. Burton perform? What is the result of his experiment?
What do the kids discover as they try to keep quiet at home? How do their parents react to the silence?
How do the kids handle Mrs. Hiatt's "Pledge of Allegiance" trick? Why do they do this? What happens when Mrs. Hiatt demands an end to their contest? What change is happening in t see more

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