Genre: Realistic fiction novel
Clements, Andrew. Frindle. New York: Simon & Shuster, 1996
CCLD, Best Books: Books to Read aloud to children of all Ages, 2003; Bank Street College of Education; United States
CLDC, Horn Book Guide,1996 Fiction Rating 1
Summary: Nick Allen is a bright, energetic fifth grade boy who is always scheming clever ways to make trouble at school. Mrs. Granger is Nick's language arts teacher. She tells the students on the first day of school that a word means something because people say it does. While in her class, Nick comes up with a brilliant idea to make up a new word; Frindle, a synonym for pen. Nick gerts his friends and eventually everyone in the school to use frindle in place of saying pen. Mrs. Granger doesn't think making up words is proper and does everything she can to put a stop to it. In the end, Nick is all grown up and receives a letter from Mrs. Granger telling him that she was really rooting for the new word the entire time. The only reason she challenged him was so he would go through with trying to get frindle in the dictionary.
Reflection: The plot of this book is unusual and very appealing to young readers. While the plot is unusual, it is very believable. One could imagine that the word frindle could actually become a real word. The sequence of events in this book is well organized, taking the reader through all the happenings that lead up up to the word frindle actually being added to the dictionary.
The setting for this book is very appropriate for children because most of the book is set in school or at home. The setting in this story establishes meaning and theme in the story. School is a big part of children's lives and often dictates what children learn and what activities they participate in. Socially, school is vital in helping kids make friends.
This book focuses a lot on Nick and his friends and how Nick needs those personal relationships to implement his plan. This book, told in third person, has an important underlying message which is that if you set goals and take the right steps to implement those goals, then you can accomplish your goals.