Sunday, October 25, 2009

Listening Library


Andrew Clements is a prolific writer. It seems like he puts out a new book every year and they are always winning state awards. I read Frindle years ago, loved it and recommend it and all his others to many classroom teachers as great read-alouds but I had not kept up with any of his books myself. His books are constantly checked out by students as well so I never felt like I had to work hard at recommending them. Realistic fiction is not my first choice to read and school stories are like what I live everyday so I hadn't bothered.
Last week when I was browsing quietly at the public library I stopped to look at books on CD and the one that called my name was No Talking! by Mr Clements himself. I put all three CD's into the Volvo's player before I backed out and by the time I was home I was enjoying myself. Keith Nobbs does a good job of portraying both male and female's, young and old. It's an interesting story. A fifth grade boy, Dave Packer is reading information about Ghandi for a report. Dave is intrigued by Ghandi's use of silent meditation and Dave decides to give it a try for just one day. In that first day he listens to another classmate, Lynsey, babble on and on and he yells at her (un-Ghandi-like but he is in fifth grade after all). Competitive by nature, both agree to a challenge, thinking the other will automatically lose! What follows is a look into what happens when students step out of their norm and how much learning can occur at school beyond the general subjects. The students surprise themselves!!
Highly recommended for 3rd-5th grade. I loved the references to Ghandi and thought it could lead to good discussion about him and what he stood for!!
This was very enjoyable to listen and I plan on catching up on all my A. Clements school stories by listening in my car.
Click here for Andrew Clement's website.