Author: Andrew Clements
Illustrator: Brian Selznick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
Genre: Modern Realistic Fiction
Number of Pages: 105
Pub. Date: 1996
Summary: Frindle is a story about a creative boy named Nick who likes to makes class time exciting. When Nick reaches fifth grade, he encounters Mrs. Granger, the English teacher, who challenges him to think about who makes the words that are in the dictionary. Nick decides he is going to make up his own word and renames the pen “frindle”. Nick does not intend for the chaos that his idea brings about. He first convinces the fifth grade to use the word “frindle” instead of pen. Before he knows what has happened, he is appearing on TV and “frindle” has become a household word all over the country. The book ends with Nick as a college student, rich from all the money he has made from marketing the word “frindle”, receiving a package from Mrs. Granger containing a dictionary with the word “frindle” in it and a long letter about how proud she is of his accomplishment.
Critique: Frindle is a great example of a wonderful, engaging work of realistic fiction. It falls into
the category of realistic fiction about someone becoming their own person.
Nick learns a lot about himself through the whole Frindle incident and the
commotion that it raised influenced his later decisions because, even though he
loved the change that it created, it also involved many people that he didn’t
really intend it to. It’s a school story that embraces realistic characters and
settings that children can relate to.
|A scene from Frindle the play|
Response: I made a text-to-self connection when I realized that Mrs. Granger reminds me of a teacher that I had in high school for AP English. He was the same way about vocabulary, just loved it! He had a very stern look about him and always dressed to impress, but after giving him a chance and getting to know him, I came to realize he was one of the smartest and most caring men I’ve ever met. He was so strict and at the time I thought he was just tough because he could be, but when I got to college and finished my first research paper with ease, I e-mailed him a big thank you. He was really an incredible teacher that made a huge impact on my life.
Assignment: Have students rename an object like Nick did with the pen and create a new advertising campaign to promote the new name!