AUTHOR: Andrew Clements
PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHED DATE: October 1, 1996
What a delightful book. I'm not even ashamed to admit that I cried.
Nick is a fifth grader whose teacher, Mrs. Granger, takes words very seriously. She is the kind of no nonsense teacher, we've all had, who brings out the best and worst in us...but ultimately the best wins out. his story is short, and brilliant in its simplicity. I hope this review can do it justice.
Mrs. Granger assigns Nick with the task of doing a report on the history of the Dictionary. Nothing could be more boring to a fifth grader, but Nick takes on the task and finds that learning about the dictionary, though not as bad as it seems, is still not the stuff of excitement. He plans to use his report to take up the entire class period as a kind of joke on Mrs. Granger, but then...in asking Nick questions about his report, Mrs. Granger unintentionally unearths a lightbulb moment in Nick, and that is the simplest way I can tell you without giving away too many spoilers, how the word, "Frindle" was born.
So many themes are at play here. The role of teachers in the inspiration of youth. How one boy can create a movement. The history and meaning of words, and the power that we, the speakers, give to them. The drawbacks of questioning authority and shaking up the status quo. I'm sure I'm missing some more themes, but these are the big ones.
I can't say enough about this book. I really enjoyed it.
Recommendation: Read it! It's awesome.
Audience: Chillun's and up
*I borrowed this book on my library Overdrive account.