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Speechless Teachers' Guide

Dundurn Teachers' Guide

by Ann M. da Mota

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self-esteem & self-reliance, boys & men
published: 2012
publisher: Dundurn
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
12 to 15
7 to 10
Reading age:
12 to 15
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The Teacher’s Guide to accompany Speechless by Valerie Sherrard.
Commended for the 2008 Best Books for Kids and Teens, short-listed for the 2008 Snow Willow Award and Ann Connor Brimer Award
"No one pays much attention to you if you don’t have much to say, so there was no way I could have predicted what would happen when I stopped talking altogether."
When his teacher announces that it’s time for the yearly class speeches, Griffin Maxwell starts to sweat. His past experience with the dreaded speech was humiliating, to say the least, and he just knows there’s no way he can go through that again. So Griffin’s best friend, Bryan, comes up with a solution – one that’s so simple it just has to work. But neither boy can begin to predict the bizarre chain of events that will be set in place when Griffin goes along with the idea.
From squaring off with the school bully to reading a teacher’s private letters, Griffin Maxwell will have to face things he never imagined, and all without saying a word!

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Contributor notes

Valerie Sherrard is the acclaimed author of such bestselling books as Kate, Sam's Light, and the Shelby Belgarden Mysteries. Her books have been shortlisted for the Red Maple, White Pine, Snow Willow, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice, B.C. Stellar, and Arthur Ellis awards, recommended by the IODE Violet Downey Award, and selected as Our Choice by the Canadian Children's Book Centre. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick, with her husband, Brent.

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Editorial Reviews

Readers will easily identify with the likeable, realistic characters of Griffin and Bryan in this enjoyable, light-hearted story.

— Sally Hengeveld

Readers will find a plot full of twists and turns, one that packs an emotional punch. Telling the story in the first person, Sherrard deftly mixes realistic family dynamics (Griffin is the third child of four and the only boy); the painful details of the child soldier horror; and just the right amount of humour to tell a gripping and important story.

— Gillian OReilly

Much like author Eric Walters, Valerie Sherrard manages to introduce young readers to an important social-justice issue through her fiction, and in a way that is neither heavy-handed nor didactic … this book could easily appeal to reluctant readers, while still offering more accomplished readers much to think about

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