From my Literary Journal in my Children's Literature class:
Clements, A. (1996). Frindle. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. 106 pp.
(Grade Level 3-5).
Nick is entering the fifth grade and he has Language Arts with Mrs. Granger. She was the only fifth grade Language Arts teacher, and she was notorious for loving the dictionary. In class one day, she comments that each and every person makes words mean what they mean by using them and keeping their meanings. The next day, Nick invents the word Frindle, to take the place of the word 'pen', and gets his friends to use it, too, thus creating a new word. The word catches on despite what Mrs. Granger does to prevent it, and it spreads all over the country.
This story was fun and colorful, and would be enjoyed by many middle-schoolers. The characters are interesting, even though some of them are rather flat, and the point of view the author uses pushes the book along very quickly. After the book is read, I think a discussion about 'enemies' in our life would be important (as Nick finds out, Mrs. Granger didn't really dislike him, she was actually rooting for him the whole time) and how we don't always know what other people are thinking. It could also lead into a discussion on the origins of words, and how new words are created, copyrights, what things are important and what things we should just 'let go', and even on how news is made and the process it goes through before it is broadcasted.