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Story structure has three parts: character (the “who”), plot (the “what”) and setting (the “where & when”.) Sometimes we need to make inferences (decide for ourselves based on clues in the book) to determine the setting of a story.
Frindle takes place at Lincoln Elementary School, which is mentioned in the first sentence in the book. If we read a little farther down on page 1, the narrator says, “What kid in New Hampshire isn’t ready for a little summer in February?” We can infer from this observation that Lincoln Elementary School is in New Hampshire.
Many fiction books don’t point out the specific year that the action takes place, but again, we can infer whether the book is set in the past, present or future based on clues in the text. Based on the slang our main character uses, plus the casual mention of things like sunglasses, TV, cars, and ballpoint pens, we can infer that Frindle takes place in modern times.
Frindle is the story of a fifth grade boy named Nick who invents his own word. It takes place in Westfield, New Hampshire over the course of one school year sometime in the 1990s’.
Nick is in fifth grade when the action of the story starts, sometime in the late twentieth century. The story takes place during his fifth grade year, and the ending is ten years later.
Ten years later, Nck Allen was a junior in college. And during November of his junior year ... Nick turned twenty-one years old, and the frindle trust fund set up by his father became legally Nick's. (ch 15, p. 95)
Most of the action of the story is during the school year at Lincoln Elementary school, where Nick attends. However, he also visits national talk shows.
Westfield is an idyllic, sleepy small town where not much happens. Nick's invented word spreads like wildfire, and the fun is a nice distraction.
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