Nick Allen’s behavior in Frindle by Andrew Clements is mischievous. Although he is an intelligent leader, he has a proclivity for disrupting instruction and learning with his unruly ideas.
During his elementary school tenure, Nick has a penchant for devising ways to interrupt the flow of daily classroom life. This starts early in his career when, using his vibrant imagination, he encourages his classmates to transform their classroom into a sand-filled beach scene during the winter. He can be heard chirping like a bird during class, which disrupts the flow of teaching. Through his errant ways, he is known for changing the direction of classroom instruction and for encouraging other children to participate in his antics.
When Nick enters fifth grade, Mrs. Granger attempts to tame him with her assignments, but his antics continue. He decides to change the word for pen to “frindle.” With his magnetic personality, he is able to encourage other students to perpetuate and expand on his idea. Mrs. Granger’s attempts to use creative “teacher” moves to put a stop to the “frindle” momentum prove unsuccessful.
Mrs. Granger sees Nick’s demeanor change as the “frindle” phenomenon grows. Unused to the celebrity, he loses his spontaneity and questions himself before launching a new idea. Because she sees his creativity stifled by the attention, she counsels him to be himself, knowing full well there could be negative consequences. She reassures Nick he was not wrong to invent the word. Nick bounces back by using his leadership skills to change the school lunch menu. He is more thoughtful about his actions, which results in less mischief and more positive change.
Throughout the story, Nick’s behavior changes from pure mischief to thoughtful, but rebellious, reform.