Meet fifth grader Dave Parker, a known loudmouth who is in the middle of his fourth hour of not talking. In spite of being called on to give his oral social studies report on India, he is determined to stick with his experiment of staying silent for an entire day. Reading a book about Mahatma Gandhi, Dave was struck to discover that for many years, one day a week, Gandhi did not speak, believing his silence brought order to his mind. Dave is able to remain mute until lunchtime, when another tongue-flapper, Lynsey Burgess, drives him crazy with her nonstop jawing with her friends. "If you had to shut up for five minutes, I bet the whole top of your head would explode!” Dave tells her. That remark sparks a war as the fifth graders, boys against girls, compete to see who can go for two entire days without speaking. Mind you, this is a class with a reputation for incessant yammering, nicknamed the Unshushables by their teachers.
See if your own unshushables can stay silent for one whole day or hour or even minute, and ask them to predict which group will win this mini-war-between-the-sexes. On a more serious note, they can find out more about Gandhi and how his life made a difference in the world.
Reviewed by : JF.
Themes : BEHAVIOR. HUMOR. SCHOOLS & SCHOOL STORIES. TEACHERS.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- "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, School Library Journal
- "A strong addition to the "waging peace" genre." – Kirkus Reviews
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
- Clements, Andrew. Frindle. Simon & Schuster, 1996. ISBN-13: 9780689818769
- Clements, Andrew. Lunch Money. Simon & Schuster, 2005. ISBN-13: 9780689866852
- Clements, Andrew. The School Story. Simon & Schuster, 2001. ISBN-13: 9780689851865
- Davies, Jacqueline. The Lemonade War. Houghton Mifflin, 2007. ISBN-13: 9780618750436
- Demi. Gandhi. McElderry, 2001. ISBN-13: 9780689841491
- Fletcher, Ralph. Flying Solo. Clarion, 1998. ISBN-13: 9780395873236
- Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. The Boys Start the War. Delacorte, 1993. ISBN-13: 9780440418412
- Wilkinson, Philip. Gandhi: The Young Protester Who Founded a Nation. National Geographic, 2005. ISBN-13: 9781426301322