What is the turning point in the story Frindle?

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The turning point, or climax, of Frindle is when Nick’s word becomes famous and his father sells the rights to it and creates a college fund for Nick.

The climax of the story is when everything changes.  In the beginning of the story, Nick develops a new word for pen and the children all enjoy using it.   Mrs. Granger, the English teacher, has a great appreciation for words and wants children to only use words in the dictionary, so she fights the new word tooth and nail.  Every child who uses it is punished, and she puts it on the spelling test every week—and every child gets it wrong.

Soon, the word catches real momentum because a newspaper story is written about the fifth grader who invented a new word for a pen.  The local and national media catches wind of the idea, and Nick goes national explaining what he did.  When asked by a reporter why he made up a new word, here is how re replies.

“Well, my teacher Mrs. Granger said that all the words in the dictionary were made up by people, and they mean what they mean because we say they do.  So I thought it would be fun to just make up a new word and see if it was true.” (ch 12, p. 79)

It is true.  As a result of his success, Nick’s father is approached by a businessman who wants to patent the word and make money on it.  He will give Nick 30% of the profits.  His father agrees, but says asks that Nick not be told so he doesn’t change his ideas about money.

From that point on, things get back to normal, but only somewhat.  The true definition of a climax is when things change.  The original problem, fighting the word, is no longer there.  Instead, Nick has to face the consequences of winning the fight.  He feels reluctant to have any more ideas until Mrs. Granger tells him he did nothing wrong, and she is proud of him.

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