Is Nick Allen a troublemaker?
He really just likes to liven things up at school--and he's always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he's got the inspiration for his best plan ever...the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny things is frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there's nothing Nick can do to stop it.
Andrew Clements is a really great author who captures the intelligence and creativity of grade school children absolutely perfectly. When I was in grade school, my friends and I started a business in which kids could bring old toys and junk to school, where they could barter or buy from others. It went on for a week before the teachers shut it down. The awesome thing about Clements' book is that his character's idea survives and thrives despite, or perhaps because, of the teachers' resistance.
Along with kid revolutions, Frindle deals with the idea of words and their fluidity. To which I say: awesome. One reason I absolutely love the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer is because of Joss Whedon's creativity with the English language. I love changing nouns into verbs and creating whole new words to prove a point. So naturally, the idea of "frindle" replacing "pen" is absolutely fascinating to me.
On that note, let's start using "jump back" in everyday conversation! I've been working on that for...six years now. It hasn't taken off. But someday!
If you are a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader, join me Monday, February 14th at 3:00 for a book club discussion and activities about Frindle!
Four out of five dictionaries.
Release Date: February 1998
Reading Level: Grade 3+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: J CLE