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Clements, Andrew. 
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2007.
IL 3-6, RL 6.9
ISBN 1416909834

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

“The Unshushables” . . . they’re the most talkative 5th graders on Planet Earth.  And they're known for something else, too:  boy/girl problems.  The boys have zero tolerance for the girls, and the girls have even less tolerance for the boys.

On a certain November morning, that mix ­ nonstop talking and boy/girl problems ­ almost became big trouble.  Instead, it became a big contest.

What started it was . . . not knowing when to keep your mouth shut.  Lynsey overhears Dave say that boys never, ever talk as much as girls talk.  In her mind, those are fighting words.  But Dave won't take them back.  In fact, he thinks the boys can prove that girls talk way more by challenging all fifth grade girls to a no-talking contest.

  • There will be no talking for two days (not in class, the hall, the playground, the bus, and not at home);
  • Grownups can be answered with three words only;
  • Every word over three words counts against the team.
Listen-in on Mrs. Marlow’s class:

[Read excerpt from pg. 56, emphasizing three-word answers.]

"Looking over the class, Mrs. Marlow settled her eyes on Seth Townsend, smiled, and said, 'So, Seth, did you do your science homework last night?'
"With no hesitation, Seth smiled back and said, 'Yes, I did.'
"Mrs. Marlow looked at Amy Gilson and said, 'How about you, Amy?'
"She nodded and said, 'It was hard.'
"'Really?  What did you think was hard about it?' she asked.
"Amy scrunched up her face and then said, 'Too much math.'
"Her answer got a lot of nods and a few laughs from the other kids, but then it went completely quiet again.
"Mrs. Marlow couldn't get over how beautifully these children were behaving."

Mrs. Marlowe is happy; but her boss, the principal, isn't.  How could the principal think that no talking is disruptive?  She demands that everything return to normal, but the Unshushables feel it’s their right to remain silent.

This isn't the time to tell you about the rest of the story.  Instead, I have 3 words for you:
Read this book!
(Mary Joan Kirkegard, Media Specialist, Ringwood Public School, Ringwood, NJ)

Booktalk #2

Shhhhhh! No one’s talking. The teachers are confused, what has happened to the once vibrant and chaotic school? Competition. Boys against Girls. Which group will be able to stay silent the longest? The goal: 48 hours. How will they avoid talking to the teachers for that long without getting into trouble?  Join in the adventure that unfolds as the students create rules and guidelines to challenge all the adults both in school and at home in their quest for No Talking.   (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Booktalk #3

Dave Parker is known throughout the fifth grade as a loudmouth. But after reading a book about Ghandi for a school project, Dave attempts being silent for the day. During lunch, however, his silence is disturbed by Lyndsey Burgess’ flapping jaw and Dave bursts out: “If you had to shut up for five minutes, I bet the whole top of your head would explode!” And so the challenge begins! Who can go for two entire days without talking, the fifth grade boys, led by Dave, or the fifth grade girls, led by Lyndsey? Of course there are a few ground rules – you can answer a teacher, but only with three words. I bet the ending will surprise you!  (Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards nominee, 2008-2009)

SUBJECTS:     Contests -- Fiction.
                        Behavior -- Fiction.
                        Communication -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fictiion.

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