Frindle Summary

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slchanmo1885's profile pic

slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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"Frindle" is about a fifth grade boy named Nick who is always getting in trouble. His teacher is very strict, and makes the class constantly check the dictionary. Nick gets the idea to make up words, and begins calling a pen by a new name, a "frindle." This idea catches on and all the kids begin calling pens "frindles." Nick runs into trouble when the adults want him to stop calling pens "frindles" but the word has caught on, all over the country. The book has a happy ending, with Nick successfully turning "frindle" into a real word that is even published in the dictionary.

poetrymfa's profile pic

poetrymfa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Frindle, by Andrew Clements, follows the story of Nicholas "Nick" Allen, a fifth grader in 1987 who generates a new name for a pen--a "frindle"--after asking his teacher, Mrs. Granger, where words come from. 

Unfortunately, the very traditional Mrs. Granger believes that using the "incorrect" term for the pen is disrespectful; Mrs. Granger tries to kill off the word by punishing the students with after-school assignments. Although the principal tries to intervene as well, the spread of "frindle" simply cannot be stopped, and it becomes an extremely popular word within the school, even garnering some national attention.

Nick's celebrity eventually begins to frighten him, but Mrs. Granger serves as a source of comfort during this time. Eventually, Nick grows up and ends up being quite rich due to a trust fund that had been established for him a decade earlier. Mrs. Granger writes him a letter, explaining that she had played the villain to garner more attention for his creation. Touched, Nick donates one million dollars to the school in the form of an endowed scholarship in Mrs. Granger's name.

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bmrasmussen's profile pic

bmrasmussen | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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"Frindle" is about a fourth-grade boy named Nick who has a reputation for making life difficult for teachers by doing small things that annoy them. In fifth grade Language Arts, he is more creative than his very strict teacher, Mrs. Granger.  She is constantly making the students look up words in the dictionary, and Nick decides that the dictionary needs some revision.  So he begins making up new words.

He and his friends make up a new word for a pen - "frindle" - and begin calling it that.  Over time, the name becomes very popular in his school, town, and in fact, all over the nation.  The adults (Mrs. Granger in particular) try to get him to stop using the word, but by then it's too late.  Nick ends up on national television and a local business owner trademarks the word "frindle".  

In the end, "frindle" ends up in the dictionary. Nick grows up, goes to college, and finds that he is very rich.  He and Mrs. Granger become friends when he finds out that she was just "playing devil's advocate" and was on his side all along.

In the reference links, there's a link to the enotes page that gives a more detailed plot summary.  If you're looking for more detail, that would be a great place to start.

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