Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Module 7: Frindle

Bibliographic Citation: Clements, A. (1996). Frindle. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Summary: Nick Allen decides to create a new word “frindle” meaning pen because of a lesson about words that came from his fifth grade teacher. It catches on like wild fire with the students at his school and quickly become the popular “it” word that everyone wants to use. The problem arises with his stern teacher, Mrs. Granger, who values the dictionary and the origin of the words and attempts to stop the nonsense around the word. The new idea of using “frindle” goes out of control and takes Nick into an adventure in which he learns lessons from.

Impression: Peace, Love & a Must Read!
A great easy and quick read for upper elementary students. It has a universal appeal and many young minds can relate to Nick’s problem of making a quick decision in which he doesn’t stop to think through or to think about how it can affect others. I appreciate that it has a happy ending giving that peaceful feeling in which his teacher, who chooses to play the antagonist in the situation, ends up revealing that she had her lesson for Nick in her mind the whole time. I love that the teacher wins and the student too!

Reviews: Nicholas Allen, a sharp, creative, independent thinker starts fifth grade looking for a way to sabotage his Language Arts class. The teacher, Mrs. Granger, is a legend, and he believes her when she states that it is the people who decide what words go into the dictionary. Picking up a dropped pen triggers a brilliant idea. He coins a new word for pen-frindle. It's all for fun, but frindle catches on and Nick finds himself on the "Late Show" and "Good Morning America" explaining his new word. Readers will chuckle from beginning to end as they recognize themselves and their classrooms in the cast of characters. A remarkable teacher's belief in the power of words shines through the entire story, as does a young man's tenacity in proving his point. Outstanding and witty.

- Bomboy,P. (1996). Grades 3-6: Fiction [Review of the book Frindle]. School Library Journal, 42(9), 201.

The author has created a fresh, imaginative plot that will have readers smiling all the way through, if not laughing out loud. Nick, a champion time-waster, faces the challenge of his life when confronted with the toughest teacher in school, Mrs. Granger. Always counted on to filibuster the impending test or homework assignment away, Nick has met his match in "Dangerous Grangerous," who can spot a legitimate question in a second and has no patience with the rest. In answer to "Like, who says that d-o-g means the thing that goes 'woof' and wags its tail? Who says so?" she replies, "You do, Nicholas. You and me and everyone in this class and this school and this town and this state and this country." And thus is born frindle, Nick's new name for pen, promising and delivering a classic student-teacher battle along the lines of — but far funnier than — Avi's Nothing But the Truth (Orchard). The battle assumes the proportions of a tall tale, and although outrageous and hilarious, it's all plausible, and every bit works from the premise to the conclusion. The brisk narration is rapid-fire, and Nick is one of the most charming troublemakers since Soup. The merchandising future of this one is too terrible to contemplate; the cutting-edge gift this Christmas has got to be a frindle.

– Watson, E.S. (1996). Frindle. Horn Book Magazine, 72(6), 732-733.

Use in Library: Orally state sentences with nonsense words and ask students to apply reading strategies in order to discover the meaning of the words. Illustrate a picture of anything of the students’ choice and label it with a their own nonsense word to put on display with a Frindle library display.

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