A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that perfect plotting, lively writing, and clever though minimal drawings add up to a surefire winner with kids that may inspire children to explore language creatively. Nick politely stands up for his beliefs in a media onslaught.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
Nick's creative troublemaking brings his school to a standstill and causes a national uproar. The new word he's invented is sweeping the country. But he may have met his match in his fifth-grade teacher, Dangerous Grangerous. Frindle is a word Nick makes up just to bug his fifth-grade teacher, who's a dictionary demon. This is nothing new for Nick, who has made a career out of wreaking creative havoc in school. But in Mrs. Granger he has found someone just as bright as he is, and they wage an evenly matched war of wits like a chess game. Nick is just as determined to get everyone to use his new word as Mrs. Granger is to stop it. When their \"war conference\" fails, Mrs. Granger deploys her black queen (the principal), and Nick counters with his white queen (his mom). But the prank spirals out of control as the word catches on all over town, and when it spawns a national fad frenzy, Nick is in way over his head. But Mrs. Granger, who seems to have lost, may know more than she's telling.
Is it any good?
This cleverly subversive story with solid values will have kids racing to the perfect finish. Author Andrew Clements never makes a misstep. Every single event is perfectly plotted and perfectly timed. The reader is torn between page-turning excitement -- don't be surprised if your children won't go to sleep until they finish it -- and the deep satisfaction of everything happening just the way it should.
The characters are unusually well drawn: Nick, the creative troublemaker; his bewildered but supportive parents; and, best of all, Mrs. Granger. Even though FRINDLE is never predictable, each moment unfolds as it should. This is a book that makes you start over on the first page as soon as you've finished the last just because it makes you feel so good. Read it one evening when you're depressed or worn out or fed up -- it's a tonic.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about language, media, and culture. Is the media reaction to Nick's new word realistic?
How is Nick affected by his growing celebrity?
Families can also talk about the role of dictionaries as records of culture and how words are continuously added.
Have you ever made up a new word?
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