The cover of the book, which depicts Nicholas "Nick" Allen holding a "frindle" (pen)
|Cover artist||Brian Selznick|
|Media type||Print (Paperback) (Hardcover)|
Frindle was Clements's first novel. All his previous works had been picture books. Clements described the idea as having come to him in the form of the thought, "What would happen if a kid started using a new word, and other kids really liked it, but his teacher didn't?"
At the start of fifth grade in 1997, Nicholas "Nick" Allen is unhappy because his English teacher is the much-disliked Mrs. Granger. One day, to stall for time in class, Nick decides to question where each word comes from. After hearing Mrs. Granger's explanation, and having to write an essay about it for homework, he creates a new name for the pen: "frindle."
His classmates really liked the idea and soon, every child in school is using the word. It starts to gain national attention at that point. Mrs. Granger dislikes this new word because she thinks it is not respectful to the word "pen", which has a long history. She makes children stay after school and write lines for saying the word "frindle," but this proves to be a problem, as almost every pupil has to stay after school. Parents complain, and the bus drivers that have to work overtime are also unhappy and threaten to go on strike.
The principal decides to visit Nick's house to end the use of the word, but the situation is out of Nick's hands now, and the word's usage cannot be controlled.
At one point, a person puts up a sign in town advertising the word "frindle" and another person, one of his dad's longtime friends, makes merchandise with the word "frindle" somewhere on it.
The epilogue shows Nick as an adult in his own house. At this point, the word "frindle" has become a common part of the language. He becomes very rich from the fund of his dad's longtime friend, a businessman who bought the rights to the word "frindle" when Nick was in fifth grade, and Mrs. Granger sends him a new copy of the dictionary, recently updated to include new words, including "Frindle". She also includes a letter, where she explains that she intentionally stood against the word in order to make it more popular. He sends back a present, a gold pen with Mrs. Granger's name on it saying, "This object belongs to Lorelei Granger and she may call it any name she chooses to."
Awards and honors
- 1997 Christopher Award, the Georgia Children's Book Award
- Sasquatch Children's Book Award
- Zyakafoo Children's Book Award
- Judy Lopez Memorial Honor Book (L.A.), Award 97
- Great Stone Face Book Award (NH), 1997–1998
- Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award (IL), 1999
- Massachusetts Children's Book Award, 1998–1999
- William Allen White Children's Book Award (KS), 1998–1999
- Georgia Children's Book Award, 1998–1999
- 1998–99 Maud Hart Lovelace Award, MN Youth Rdg. Award
- 1999 South Dakota Prairie Pasque Award
- Charlie May Simon Children's Book Award (AR), 1998–99
- Premio Cassa di Risparmio di Cento di Letteratura per Ragazzi, 1998, Cento, Italy
- 1998–99 Nevada Young Readers' Award
- 1998–99 North Carolina Children's Choice Award
- Pacific NW Lib. Assn. – Young Reader's Choice 1999 (WA,OR,MT,AK,ID,AB,BC)
- 1999 Texas Children's Crown Award
- 1998–99 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 4–6
- Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award 1999–2000
- Utah Children's Choice Award, 2000
- Rhode Island Children's Book Award
- Year 1999 Young Hoosier Book Award
- National Education Association "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children" based on a 2007 online poll
- School Library Journal "Top 100 Chapter Books" of all time based on a 2012 poll
- "EPA's Top 100 Authors: Andrew Clements". Educational Paperback Association. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- "Frindle Discussion Guide: Scholastic. com". Scholastic. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Frindle". Simon & Schuster Digital Catalog. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- "Andrew Clements – Frindle". Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 7, 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse No. 8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 19, 2012.