Judging from this novel, Andrew Clements knows what elementary school is like—and he should. Clements taught in Chicago for seven years, teaching fourth grade, then eighth and tenth. He is also a father of four children and that plays a part in keeping his awareness of childhood fresh. Clements also knows elementary schools through his stints as a visiting author. He has been touring schools ever since his picture books were published in the late 1980s. The idea for Frindle came from one of these visits. Clements was explaining the power of words and where language comes from and out popped the idea that you could call a pen a "frindle." As he explained how words spread, he even outlined the first actions that his character Nick would take to popularize the created word.
Clements was born in New Jersey in 1949. He and his family moved to Illinois when he was in sixth grade. Late in high school he was encouraged to write by responses from his teachers. Clements studied literature at Northwestern University. He has worked in publishing, and he tried to make a career as a singer and songwriter. Clements is married. He and his family live in Massachusetts.