"Frindle” by Andrew Clements has become one of my new favourites! With over 6.5 million copies sold worldwide, it makes sense that this book has won numerous awards. “Frindle” is funny, heart-warming, creative, and well-written. This is going to be one of those books that will sit patiently on my shelf until my firstborn is old enough to enjoy it, and then you better believe we’ll be reading it together! Maybe by then, I'll have attained the whole Andrew Clements collection!
The main character, 5th-grader Nick Allen, has the unique ability to brainstorm and then put into action the most imaginative schemes. Because of this unique skill-set, he’s labelled as a trouble maker, even though he isn’t actually trying to cause any trouble.
But trouble does arise when his teacher sparks an interesting idea. When learning about the dictionary, and how words are formed and created, she tells Nick that we are the ones who create words. Nick then decides to create a word, so he sets a large plan into action. Pretty soon every student in North America is using the word frindle rather than pen, thus making Nick every teacher’s worst nightmare.
Recommended Age Group?
The publisher’s recommended age group is 8-12. This is the perfect age range.
The themes in this book relate wholly to the targeted age group. Not only do students learn the value (and power) of words, they also learn about friendship and responsibility.
The characters in this novel are perfectly written. Nick Allen feels like a real 5th grader with real emotions and problems. Clements understands students and school culture very well, which makes sense considering he used to be a teacher himself.
This book is perfect for the classroom. Your students will love following Nick Allen on his new-word adventure, and as an educator, you’ll be wondering how you would have handled Nick’s antics. I know I did!
The only problem with this book is that it might get your students thinking, how can I be imaginative and creative...which may just get them into a little bit of trouble. ;-)