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No Talking
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About the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at AndrewClements.com.

Brian Selznick is the author and illustrator of the bestselling The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was awarded the Caldecott Medal and was a National Book Award finalist. He is also the illustrator of many books for children, including Frindle and Lunch Money by Andrew Clements, as well as the Doll People trilogy by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, which was a Caldecott Honor Book. Mr. Selznick divides his time between Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.

Mark Elliott has a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. He has illustrated a number of book covers, and his work has been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators and the Art Directors Guild. Mark lives on a sheep farm in the Hudson Valley region of New York.

Reviews

Clements's (Lunch Money) latest thoughtful school tale opens as fifth-grader Dave researches a report on India. He is fascinated to learn that for years Mahatma Gandhi did not speak at all one day each week to "bring order to his mind." Dave, an inveterate blabber, tries to keep silent for a day at school, a plan that derails when he cannot contain his outrage at his classmate Lynsey's superficial, nonstop monologue at lunch ("She knew I wanted that sweater more than anything, and she bought it anyway. And then? After school on Friday at soccer practice? She smiled at me, like she wanted to be friends or something-as if!"). After she erupts at his complaint, the pair enlists their entire grade in an experiment to determine which gender can utter fewer words during a two-day period. The rules allow students to answer teachers' questions with a three-word-only response, but they are prohibited from speaking after school is dismissed. Enhancing the challenge is the fact that the fifth grade has a reputation for being particularly loquacious, prompting the teachers to dub them "The Unshushables." The contest plays out at an occasionally plodding pace, as Clements dwells on the teachers' musings about the competition as they find ways for the kids to learn and communicate nonverbally. Despite the rivalry that started the contest, the longstanding animosity between the boys and girls dissipates as the students bond over the experiment. Presuming the novel doesn't generate similar contests in real life, readers may be compelled to use their voices to praise Clement's deft handling of an interesting premise. Ages 8-12. (Jun.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Andrew Clements set the standard for the school story in 1996 with his first novel, Frindle, which went on to sell more than two million copies...No Talking is Clements's best school story since." - The New York Times Book Review
"Readers may be compelled to use their voice to praise Clements's deft handling of an interesting premise." - Publishers Weekly
"A vintage tale from the master of the theme-driven, feel-good school story." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Gr 3-6-Dave Packer's fifth-grade classmates are so boisterous and difficult to quiet down that the teachers have dubbed them "The Unshushables." Dave has just read about Mahatma Gandhi and learned that the man practiced silence one day a week to bring order to his mind. Though Dave likes to talk nonstop, he's determined to give the idea a try. An encounter with Lynsey, another chatterbox, sparks the boys and girls into challenging each other to a no-talking contest for 48 hours. They can answer direct questions from adults with three-word sentences but must otherwise remain silent. The teachers are bewildered at the extreme change in the kids until several of them figure out what's going on. Principal Hiatt demands that the quiet students return to their normal behavior. When the children continue with their silent ways, Dave finds himself at the center of the controversy. This is an interesting and thought-provoking book, similar to Clements's Frindle (S & S, 1996). The plot quickly draws readers in and keeps them turning pages. The author includes the viewpoints of both the students and the teachers, and the black-and-white pencil drawings add immediacy to the story. This lively offering would make a great book-group selection or classroom discussion starter.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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