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Frindle Paperback – February 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Trying to aggravate a tough language-arts teacher, a fifth-grade boy invents a new word for pen: "frindle." Soon, the whole country is using it. "Dictionary lovers will cotton to this mild classroom fantasy," said PW. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-6. Ten-year-old Nick Allen has a reputation for devising clever, time-wasting schemes guaranteed to distract even the most conscientious teacher. His diversions backfire in Mrs. Granger's fifth-grade class, however, resulting in Nick being assigned an extra report on how new entries are added to the dictionary. Surprisingly, the research provides Nick with his best idea ever, and he decides to coin his own new word. Mrs. Granger has a passion for vocabulary, but Nick's (and soon the rest of the school's) insistence on referring to pens as "frindles" annoys her greatly. The war of words escalates--resulting in after-school punishments, a home visit from the principal, national publicity, economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs, and, eventually, inclusion of frindle in the dictionary. Slightly reminiscent of Avi's Nothing but the Truth (1991), this is a kinder, gentler story in which the two sides eventually come to a private meeting of the minds and the power of language triumphs over both. Sure to be popular with a wide range of readers, this will make a great read-aloud as well. Kay Weisman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689818769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689818769
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (708 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By X. Libris on February 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
As an elementary school librarian, I can say that "Frindle" is one of the finest books for intermediate grades I have read in a long time. I only regret that I didn't read it years ago, so I could've been recommending it to teachers to read-aloud and to students who would like a humorous, yet thought-provoking, story.
Like most successful books for kids, "Frindle" works on many different levels. It's funny, fast-paced, and while the main character, Nick, is kind of a class clown, he has qualities that even a mean teacher like Mrs. Granger would like. And even though Mrs. Granger has a reputation for being strict, she also earns the respect of children and parents. While some situations are a bit far-fetched, this story is still quite realistic. We get a glimpse how a seemingly insignificant event at a small town elementary school through a media-frenzy becomes an international phenomenon. Can anyone say "fad?"
3rd through 6th grade teachers should consider reading this book about the invention of a new word, "frindle," to their classes. Both teachers and students will enjoy it.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
At long last! An early reader chapter book designed to give full all-encompassing glory to language itself! Sort of. I first heard about "Frindle" some five years ago when it was burning up the bookshelves across the country. Kids couldn't get enough of the semi-raucous tale of one boy's attempt to make a contribution to the English language. Cleverly, author Andrew Clements has created a book that doesn't fall back into the old good vs. bad/teacher vs. student riff we all know so well. Though a book that is written with fairly young readers in mind, it successfully renders huge themes in bite size portions.

Nick Allen is used to getting great ideas. Who could forget his fabulous third grade attempts to turn his classroom into a sunny tropical isle in the dead of winter? Or his successful utilization of bird calls to annoy a fourth grade prof? But now Nick has come across a real challenge and her name is Granger. Mrs. Granger. As the woman in charge of the elementary school's language arts, Mrs. Granger is a true aficionado of the wonders of the dictionary. After tangling, and losing, with the clever teacher, Nick springs upon a brilliant idea. Why not add his own little word to the world's vocabulary? The idea comes to him in a flash, and before you know it he's grabbed the nearest pen and renamed it "frindle". As Mrs. Granger retaliates, defending (what in her mind is) the perfectly serviceable and already existing word "pen", frindle's popularity and publicity grows and grows. Yet in the end, it seems as though Nick was playing into Mrs. Granger's hands all along.

Accompanied by the really well wrought and beautifully designed illustrations of Brian Selznick, the book is just a low-key amusing look at how words affect people.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By M. Fisher on May 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Have you ever had a teacher who made life really tough for you? Well, Nick Allen did. When Nick was in 5th grade, he had a teacher named Mrs. Granger and she had a reputation for being tough and mean. When Nick tries to stall class by asking Mrs. Granger where words come from, she makes him answer his own question with an oral report.

Nick learns that we make the words in the dictionary. One day as he's walking home with his friend Janet, Janet drops her pen. Nick picks it up for her and accidentally calls it a "frindle" instead of a pen. He finally understands what Mrs. Granger was trying to teach him. Soon, he convinces his friends to start using the word "frindle" too. Before long, the whole school is saying it.

This makes Mrs. Granger very mad. She creates The Frindle Punishment. Anyone who uses the word must stay after school to write, "I am writing this punishment with a pen." 100 times. The students start taking this punishment as a badge of honor. This is my favorite part because the students are standing up for themselves.

Not everyone is so happy about Mrs. Granger's new punishment. A newspaper reporter named Judy Morgan learns about frindle and comes to the school to find out more. Then things really get crazy!

If you want to know what happens next, you'll have to read the book. I think you should read the book because it's realistic and funny. I like to imagine that something like this could happen to me.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Absolutely Wonderful! This book is engaging for all ages and a must read for every middle-grade class. A heart warming and funny story -- a parent's dream come true. It is about a student named Nick Allen, who decides to create a new word. His Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Granger has a real passion for the english vocabulary and the uses of a dictionary. But after Nick's insistence, his friends and schoolmates begin using his word ... frindle. Much to his teacher's dismay, it becomes so popular that everyone is using it. Many escapades ensue (after-school punishments, principal visits, local and national publicity, local entrepreneurial opportunities and finally, true acceptance of the word and inclusion in the dictionary. In the end, both student and teacher form a strong appreciation for one another and a bond that cannot be broken.
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