Frindle by Andrew Clements

frindle by andrew clements

From bestselling and award-winning author Andrew Clements, a quirky, imaginative tale about creative thought and the power of words that will have readers inventing their own words.

Is Nick Allen a troublemaker? He really just likes to liven things up at school — and he’s always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he’s got the inspiration for his best plan ever…the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there’s nothing Nick can do to stop it.

Description taken from Goodreads.


I recently got the chance to see a 5th grade elementary school book list. Guesstimating, I would say that there were about six or seven Andrew Clements novels on that list.

Here’s the thing about Andrew Clements: I never have and probably never will recommend his books, and not because he’s a bad writer. He’s a great writer, and he’s written a lot of great books for children. No, I am not one of those people who believe that famous writers should stop publishing in order to make room for younger readers.

His books simply are not for me, and they haven’t been for many of the readers that I’ve recommended books to.

If Andrew Clements’s books are for readers, I completely support that. There are a few, like FRINDLE, that I’ve liked, but haven’t been memorable for me. In the end, the books that were memorable for me and shaped why I love books weren’t books like Clements’s. And I would never press Clements’s books upon readers, just like I would never shun the opinion of someone who enjoys his works.

As a note to librarians out there and teachers out there–on the topic of words–I appreciate your position on books like these, and in fact, teachers and librarians have had huge roles in my literary life, but I’m of the belief that it’s less important what a child reads and more important that a child is reading.

1.5 stars.

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