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The main characters in Frindle are Nick Allen, a fifth grader, and Mrs. Granger, his English teacher.
Nick Allen is a clever, creative kid. In third grade, he got his brand new teacher in trouble by turning his classroom into a tropical island. In fifth grade, he is annoyed that he has to do homework. He tries to stall his English teacher, who is famous for giving long vocabulary assignments where kids have to look up words in the dictionaries. As a result, she gives him a report on the dictionary and he learns how words are invented, and invents his own.
Frindle was a real word. It meant pen. Who says frindle means pen? “You do, Nicholas.” (ch 7, pg. 38).
Soon, the word gets out of Nick’s control. He gets in trouble, and then it becomes a national phenomenon that he created a word. He just wants things to be back to normal. After that, he does not want to have ideas any more.
Mrs. Granger is a fifth grade English teacher. Since it is a small town, and she is the only English teacher at Lincoln Elementary, she has had most of the kids in the town in her class. She takes her job seriously, and considers it part of her responsibility to build their vocabulary.
Words are used to think with, to write with, to dream with, to hope and pray with. And that is why I love the dictionary. It endures. It works. And as you know now, it also changes and grows. (ch 15, pg. 100)
Mrs. Granger does not really hate new words. She just does not like how Nick threw away the old one. She tells him she has written him a letter that she is going to give him when things are over. In the letter, she explains that she just wanted to have a role in the adventure, and decided to play the bad guy. Ten years later she sends it to him, along with a dictionary containing his word.
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