Frindle

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Frindle Book Poster Image
Tale of creative troublemaker a surefire winner with kids.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 37 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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 & Representations

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
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byJamie and James March 14, 2010

Not for my oldest, or my youngest, good story, but not ready yet.

ok, my son's second grade teacher read this to his class, and when he told me this, I read it. THIS WAS NOT FOR 7 YEAR OLDS! Parents, it was a good story b... Continue reading
Adult Written by[email protected] April 9, 2008

Great book!

I read this book 93 times!
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

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... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 22, 2009

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?

Book details

For kids who love humor

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate