Nick had invented the word “frindle” to test the theory that if everyone agreed on the meaning of the word, then it becomes a word. Mrs. Granger and the school fought the students in this endeavor. In chapter 11, a writer for The Westfield Gazette was looking for a new,...
Nick had invented the word “frindle” to test the theory that if everyone agreed on the meaning of the word, then it becomes a word. Mrs. Granger and the school fought the students in this endeavor. In chapter 11, a writer for The Westfield Gazette was looking for a new, interesting story. Being a small town, Westfield did not have a lot of exciting news. She published a story on the front page that read,
“Local 5th grader says, “Move over, Mr. Webster’” (pg 67)
She goes on to explain the war of words, and that Nick Allen was responsible for this event. The day before, she had received a copy of the fifth grade group picture with all the students holding “frindles.” She included this picture in her article. The reaction was immediate. The superintendent contacted the principal, and the principal contacted Mrs. Granger. Mrs. Chatham says,
“It’ll be a wonder if we don’t all get fired!” (pg 69)
In chapter twelve, Nick has suddenly become a hero, and he isn’t very comfortable in that role.
“Kids at school started expecting him to be clever and funny all the time, and even for a kid as smart as Nick, that was asking a lot.” (pg 70)
Bud Lawrence, a businessman in town, filed a preliminary trademark claim on the word “frindle.” He sold three thousand “frindles” in one week. The sales began to slow, until a reporter in the larger town of Carrington, Alice Lunderson, from a local CBS-TV station picked up the story. The story went from Carrington to Boston to New York and was on the national news. Twenty million viewers would view it. Alice Lunderson interviewed Mrs. Granger and the Allen family. Nick’s mother sat right next to him and made sure that he didn’t say anything inappropriate.
“…..these reporters are just looking for a quick story that will make some excitement. But you have to stay here and live in this town. So mind your Ps and Qs” (pg 75)
Nick complimented Mrs. Granger during the interview.
“…. I learned a lot about words, and without her, I wouldn’t have.” (pg 76)
Twenty million people saw that interview, and the producer of The Late Show with David Letterman, a writer for People magazine, and a writer for 3-2-1 Contact magazine for kids were among the viewers. Nick was a celebrity, and kids all over the United States started using the word, “frindle."
Bud Lawrence’s little enterprise in frindles suddenly skyrocketed. This alarmed his attorney.
“The whole country knows that that little kid made up the word, and unless you make a deal with his dad, you’re going to end up with nothing, maybe even a big fat lawsuit. That kid owns that word.” (pg 78)
Bud Lawrence calls Nick’s father and offers to give Nick thirty percent of whatever profits he makes selling "frindle” merchandise. They sign a contract and set up a trust fund for Nick. Mr. Allen asks that Nick not be told of this arrangement, and Mr. Lawrence agrees.