What is the message about unfair treatment in No Talking? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one particular message about unfair treatment comes down to judging people in too harsh of a manner.  Dave judges girls when he says, "And anyway, boys never talk as much as girls do, ever!” This leads to the contest between the boys and the girls.  Both believe that the other side is wrong.  This is one example of the message of unfair judgment.  The novel speaks to how individuals should not be judged by being lumped into a group.  Rather, people must be judged on their own merits.  In this example, a distinct message about unfair treatment and judgments emerges.

Mrs. Hiatt's treatment of Dave in the lunchroom is another example of unfair treatment.  She belittles him as a result of power and her abuse of it causes her to apologize and eventually join in the game.  It is through her own admission of unfair treatment that Mrs. Hiatt learns about the game and is impressed with how Dave appropriated it into his own world.  This is an example of how unfair treatment can be recognized and understood.  Mrs. Hiatt demonstrates how unfair treatment can be rectified and transformed into a personally teachable moment. In this manner, unfair treatment is acknowledged and understood in order to make what is into what can be. 

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