I was excited to see this new book, NO TALKING out by Andrew Clements. Since I teach a multiage class of 3rd and 4th graders, Andrew Clements' books are usually perfect choices for read aloud. I love the school issues that his books address and the issues are always so well handled for this age group.
In this new book, the 5th graders have always been a chatty group. The teachers have even named them "The Unshushables". Another issue with this class is that the boys and girls don't get along. So, these two issues become the anchor for a no talking contest between the boys and the girls.
One of the things I enjoyed was reading about various teachers' reactions to the contest that caused a bit of unpredictability to their days and lessons. It was so interesting to read about the ways the adults in the building handled the problems. Andrew Clements seems to really have teachers figured out. The diversity of reactions was interesting and very realistic.
I am not sure I will read this one aloud. It is a good one but some of his others may be better for read aloud. I liked it because I thought the talking issue was a really good one that would be interesting to talk to kids about early in the year. But, I didn't feel like I got to know the main characters as well as I knew the main character in some of his other books. It is definitely one I'll add to my classroom library. The whole fun and challenge of not talking makes for a pretty quick, fun read. Since it is boys against girls, it will easily be enjoyed by both genders. I'm not sure which of the two issues (talking at school or gender issues) would be more of a focus for 3/4 graders but both would make for interesting talk.