Author: Andrew Clements has written more than fifty books for children, including the award-winning, multimillion-copy bestseller Frindle.
Book – No Talking
Genre – Children’s Literature
Author – Andrew Clements
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
First paperback edition June 2009
Book Review: Dave Packer had to prepare a report on the history of India to give a presentation for five minutes or less for his social studies class, just some basic facts on anything related to India, he found the most interesting section on India was about how it became independent and thought the most interesting person in the story of India’s independence was Mahatma Gandhi – in one of the books, he read this about Gandhi:
For many years, one day each week Gandhi did not speak at all. Gandhi believed this was a way to bring order to his mind.
Dave wondered what that meant, “to bring order to his mind”, could something as simple as not talking change the way your mind worked? … this belief seemed to have been good for Gandhi; would not talking make him smarter? So Dave decided to give this philosophy a try, to effort to keep his mouth shut all day on Monday, but giving this report in his social studies class on Monday would ruin his experiment … How would he cope with his experiment of “No Talking” for a day? How could this philosophy help Dave of fifth grade?
The story develops to discover the influence of Dave’s experiment – first as a personal goal of Dave which later transpires as a contest for two days between the students of the fifth grade as Boys vs. Girls, with a set of rules to follow; how the teachers deal with the peculiar situation on the first day of the contest, how the teachers involve themselves in this contest on the second day to appreciate the concept’s novel approach in the teaching and learning process.
As per my grasp of the story, the source of this story is founded on research discoveries of the concept – “No Talking”, executed in a school; the scheme of the narrative is purposely kept entertaining so as to captivate the curious mind of a child – which expresses about the author’s commendable story telling ability with a challenging storyline to narrate specifically to children. The concept and the clever narration of the story is more appropriate for children of 10 years and above to comprehend and appreciate, and at a leisurely pace a child probably will take less than a week’s time to finish reading this book. The theme of the story is essentially based in a school background thus incudes a lot of names of students and teachers which could bring a trace of confusion in a young mind while reading.
“No Talking” as an activity in school is a practical concept with many constructive benefits towards a child’s holistic development, as revealed in the book – this activity can be carried out in schools for 1 day, for at least 2 times in an academic year, for children above 10 years; for teachers this book caters as an useful resource book for planning this activity.
Amazon link: No Talking by Andrew Clements