Frindle

Common Sense Media says

Tale of creative troublemaker a surefire winner with kids.

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This novel encourages readers to explore the creative side of language as the characters develop an appreciation for a made-up word. Readers can also learn that not all questions and curiosities equate to disobedience, but rather, to a hunger for knowledge and the freedom to be unique.

Positive role models

Nick's interaction with his teacher Mrs. Granger is one that displays the ways in which a figure of authority can learn from his/her students and vice-versa. Mrs. Granger acknowledges Nick's good intentions and even encourages him at the end of the story by telling him that she believes he'll go far. There's an inspiring mutual respect for each other's opinions and ambitions between Mrs. Granger and Nick. Nick also demonstrates selflessness as he gives away his trust fund money as gifts to his parents and friends.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

Book details

Author:Andrew Clements
Illustrator:Brian Selznick
Genre:School
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 1, 1996
Number of pages:105
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12

This review of Frindle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old February 22, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

i love this book i read it every year

Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Cool Book Must Read!

When I opened the tanned pages of Frindle, I was swept into a world of language and the thoughts that collided in Nick Allen's mind. His ideas for the new word replacing pen urged me to rename every item in my house! Wonderful Book, and cleverly written. Must Read!
Kid, 9 years old January 26, 2009

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