Author – Andrew Clements
Age – 8+
Nick has a reputation in school for making class interesting. He uses stalling tactics, or time-wasting questions to trick teachers into not setting homework, or to avoid more work in class.
But Mrs Granger is different. She is a 5th grade (Year 6 in NZ and UK) teacher, and at first his intended trick backfires. But something she says in class triggers an idea. Mrs Granger loves her dictionary and insists they all have their own personal copies for their homework. Nick decides he’d like to change a word and begins calling a pen a Frindle.
His friends follow his example. Mrs Granger isn’t happy. The school principal isn’t happy. But is it against school rules? Is it offensive? Is it really such a big deal?
Nick’s word soon becomes a HUGE deal, with run-away results.
I learnt about this book in the Kid’s Lit Quiz (An International Reading Competition run by Wayne Mills NZOM). I can see why it is a favourite of so many people, young and old. It would make a great read-aloud to 7-8 yr olds.
(School, Words, Dictionary, Language, Humour, Teaching, Teacher, Self-belief)