What is the climax of the story Frindle?

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The climax of the story Frindle is when Nick receives a large package from Mrs. Granger ten years after leaving the fifth grade. The package contains three things. One is a new dictionary. Taped to the front of the dictionary is the second item: a handwritten note from Mrs. Granger telling him to turn to page 541 of the book. On this page he finds the definition for the word frindle—his word has become official.

The third item is the envelope he signed in her classroom ten years ago. Inside is a letter that Mrs. Granger wrote to Nick during his fifth-grade year. We get to see into the past, and from her perception of what happened we suddenly realize along with Nick that she was playing devil’s advocate in order to give publicity to his idea. Instead of being against the word frindle, she was secretly rooting for it to take hold and did what she could to help it along. This flash of understanding is the climax of the story.

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I would say the turning point, or climax, occurs when Nick seeks the help of Mrs. Granger. She knows that he is unhappy and not his usual self. His celebrity status has turned off his creativity and stunted his lively personality. Mrs. Granger counsels him to ignore the money and fame his "frindle" stunt and to just be himself. She relates to Nick in a one-on-one conversation which lets him know she is not the regimented classroom teacher everyone thought she was. She was proud of his creative genius which her "look it up in the dictionary" response stimulated. Nick accepts her advice and goes on to reform the school cafeteria and proceed successfully into an educated adulthood with the added windfall of his trust. In the conclusion, he acknowledges her influence on his life with a million dollar trust for educating children in her name.

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What is the turning point in the story Frindle?

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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