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Frindle cover.gif
Front cover: Nicholas "Nick" Allen holding a "frindle", or pen
Author Andrew Clements
Illustrator Brian Selznick
Cover artist Selznick
Country United States
Genre Realistic fiction
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover, paperback)
Pages 105 pp
ISBN 0-689-80669-8
OCLC 38482602
LC Class PZ7.C59118 Fr 1996[1]

Frindle is an American children's novel written by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Brian Selznick, and published by Aladdin in 1996. Announced June 2015, it is the winner of the 2016 Phoenix Award – that is, named by the Children's Literature Association the best English-language children's book that did not win a major award when it was published twenty years earlier.[2]

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?"[3]


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.[4] 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, which Nick saw her write back in fifth grade, in which 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[edit]

The U.S. National Education Association named Frindle one of "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children" based on a 2007 online poll.[5] In 2012 it was ranked number 38 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with primarily U.S. audience.[6]

The book has received more than 35 awards and honors, including:[7][8]

  • 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
  • Prize Cento, 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
  • 2016 Phoenix Award[2]


  1. ^ "Frindle" (first edition). Library of Congress Online Catalog ( Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  2. ^ a b "Phoenix Award". Children's Literature Association ( June 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  3. ^ "EPA's Top 100 Authors: Andrew Clements". Educational Paperback Association. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  4. ^ "Frindle Discussion Guide: Scholastic. com". Scholastic. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  5. ^ National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (July 7, 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal ( Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Frindle". Simon & Schuster Digital Catalog. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  8. ^ "Andrew Clements – Frindle". Retrieved 2010-05-02. 

External links[edit]