No Talking is a story about two fifth grade classes. The protagonist of the story is Dave Packer, who is considered a "loudmouth" and is certainly a leader in the class. His study partner is Lynsey Burgess who is also very talkative and a leader among the girls in the class. The two get in an argument at lunch that ends with a competition between the boys and girls in the class to go two entire days without talking.
Other characters include the teachers of the school and other students:
- Mrs. Hiatt is the principal of the school.
- Mrs. Marlow teaches science.
- Mrs. Akers teaches music.
- Mr. Burton teaches language arts and is the one teacher who is fascinated by the challenge; he uses it to get creative with communication in his class.
- Mrs. Hensley teaches PE.
- named students include: Kyle, Ellen, and Zeke.
The characters in this book will, no doubt, make you smile. No Talking by Ted Clements tells the experience of a fifth grade class that is having a competition between the boys and girls to see who can win a "no talking" contest. The students decide the competition will last two days and if a teacher asks them a question, they are only allowed to say three words. They are not allowed to talk at all when they are at home. In short, the main characters are Dave and Lynsey, with many other interesting minor characters, most of them teachers and/or students, added to the mix (including the "indirect" character of Gandhi).
Okay here's the deal a whole day of no talking in school. Not in class,not in the halls, not on the playground. Nowhere. No talking at all. And it's a contest--boys against girls. Whichever side talks less, wins.
In fact, the competition is originally inspired by Gandhi's example of maintaining silence one day a week, about which Dave has recently read. When Lynsey is extremely loud at lunch, Dave says that neither she nor any other girl could be quiet for more than five minutes. Angered by this insult, the girls decide to become a part of the challenge. Interestingly, by taking this oath of silence they are participating in another of Gandhi's examples, civil disobedience, as they are not allowed to talk even when spoken to, unless it is the three word answers to the teachers.
As previously stated, two of the main characters are Lynsey and Dave. Lynsey is the team captain for the girls and Dave is the team captain for the boys. Mrs. Hiatt is the principal who normally keeps the children quiet by using a bullhorn. The other main characters in the book are the teachers who each react differently to the silence challenge. Ms. Marlow teaches science. Mrs. Hensley teaches P. E. Mrs. Akers teaches music. Mr. Burton teaches language arts (and vows to write a book about the whole contest). Kyle, Ellen, and Zeke are all students who have major roles in the way their silence affects them at home.