What was Mrs. Granger's pride and joy in Frindle?
Mrs. Granger, sensible, serious, and famous in school for assigning lots of homework, is Nick’s language arts teacher at Lincoln Elementary. Her pride and joy is a copy of her favorite dictionary which she says has been crafted over centuries and insists all of her students must have:
But her pride and joy was one of those huge dictionaries with every word in the universe in it, the kind of book it takes two kids to carry. It sat on its own little table at the front of her classroom, sort of like the altar at the front of a church.
When ten-year-old Nick asks Mrs. Granger what every word in the dictionary means, in an attempt to stall her from assigning homework, she punishes him by assigning him an essay on the history of the dictionary:
Nick was an expert at asking the delaying question—also known as the teacher-stopper, or the guaranteed time-waster. At three minutes before the bell, in that split second between the end of today's classwork and the announcement of tomorrow's homework, Nick could launch a question guaranteed to sidetrack the teacher long enough to delay or even wipe out the homework assignment.
Mrs. Granger is only unhappy that Nick is trying to distract the class—though, generally, Mrs. Granger loves nothing more than to talk about the dictionary and the English language.
When Nick invents a new word for pen, a "frindle," and the other students take up the use of the new word too, Mrs. Granger tells them that although the dictionary can be subject to change, this change cannot come overnight. However, ten years later, when "frindle" has been added to the dictionary, Mrs. Granger writes to Nick admitting that the dictionary is also a symbol for change:
So many things have gone out of date. But after all these years, words are still important. Words are still needed by everyone. 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 now know, it also changes and grows.
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