Student Question

What are the five most important events in Frindle?

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The book Frindle is ultimately a story about power relations within society. The authors present the story through the eyes of a fifth grade boy named Nick Allen, who is represented as smart and a bit of a rule-breaker. In the story, Nick's rebellious attitude was aimed toward a social issue that was more than the issue itself. The word used for a simple item, in this case a pen, became a symbol of social justice for the powerless (students) against a powerful hierarchy (teachers/parents/administration).

  1. The first important event in the book is when Nick first learns about words and where they come from. This knowledge prompted him to take initiative to create his own word and replace a long-standing word for an item people use on a daily basis: a pen. What better way to demonstrate influence than by affecting an item everyone uses? Nick created the word "frindle."
  2. The second important event is when Nick's parents and teacher (Mrs. Granger) suggest that he drops the issue and put and end to the "rebellion." This event demonstrates the first time Nick was confronted with a direct power conflict.
  3. The next important event is when the word "frindle" spreads across the school. Even if Nick wanted to back down and curb his rebellion, he no longer had complete control of the idea. The word had spread to his entire school and other people had taken on the cause. This is the point where Nick realizes he has organized a true activism effort that was much bigger than himself.
  4. The next important idea is when Mrs. Granger meets with Nick and says she secretly supported his rebellion all along - she wanted him to learn about the power behind words and how even "powerless" people can make huge gains in the world through activism.
  5. Finally, the end of the story concludes with evidence of Nick's success in leading his "frindle rebellion." The word "frindle" had been published in the dictionary, much to the pleasure of Mrs. Granger who contacted Nick in support.

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