Monday, March 21, 2011

Frindle by A. Clements

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. 


Carrie said...

It's been awhile since I've read this one as well. I remember my impression being "meh" - but Jennifer at 5 Minutes for Books really loved it so I gave it a shot. I can't remember all of the specifics (but thankfully we have these book blogs to help us out when memory fails, eh!?)

I do agree that a discussion about enemies following the read of this book is a very good idea!

Nicole said...

:) There have been many times I think back on a book, or a friend asks about one, and I know I read it but I cannot exactly remember what it was about, or even if I particularly liked or or not! So, I log onto the handy-dandy WeBlog and look up what I wrote! Very helpful, yes :)