Chapter 11 Summary
The Thursday after Judy Morgan’s visit to Lincoln Elementary, her story about Nick Allen, Mrs. Granger, and the word "frindle" appears on the first page of the Westfield Gazette. The newspaper sells 12,297 copies. Right on top of all of them is the following headline:
Local 5th Grader Says, “Move Over, Mr. Webster.”
This title makes it sound like Nick is pushing aside the authority of Webster’s Dictionary to make room for his new word.
The rest of the article is just as flashy as the title. Judy Morgan tells the truth, but she does it in a way that makes the conflict at Nick’s school sound extra impressive. She calls Mrs. Granger “the champion of forces of order and authority.” She calls the kids in Nick’s fifth-grade class “frindle-fighters,” which makes them sound like freedom fighters. At the end of the piece, Judy Morgan notes that “no one seems to be backing off in this war of the words.” Along with the article, the reporter prints Nick’s class picture. She points out both Nick and Mrs. Granger so everyone can see who they are.
Besides grabbing people’s attention, the article makes people angry. All over Westerfield, people get worried about the attention the word "frindle" is getting in the newspaper. When they get worried, they shout at the people in their authority. The first incident happens at Nick’s house. Nick’s mom is worried about what people will think of their family, so she yells at Nick. She thinks Nick must have talked to Judy Morgan and broken his promise to be respectful. She points out that the reporter seems to know more about Nick and his frindle experiment than she should. Nick, of course, is innocent of any wrongdoing (this time at least).
Meanwhile, the superintendent of the local school district shouts at Mrs. Chatham for talking to Judy Morgan. He is worried that he will get in trouble with the taxpayers, who are always trying to find reasons to pay less money for schools. He tells Mrs. Chatham it makes his job harder when the newspaper prints articles that make schools look bad.
Mrs. Chatham is upset that her boss has yelled at her, so she takes out her frustration on Mrs. Granger. “I know you had to talk to that woman, but did you have to say all these things?” Mrs. Chatham asks. She worries they will all lose their jobs.
The article about frindle gives everyone a bad day. It also creates a small mystery. Nobody knows how Judy Morgan got that fifth-grade class picture.