Book Review: Frindle

My identical twin sons are in the same second-grade class. After winter break, with the principal’s approval, the second-grade teachers decided to group all the second graders by reading level. My sons, who read at a fourth-grade level, go to a different second-grade class for reading. I was excited about this because they would be able to read books at their level and be challenged.

To my surprise, one of my sons refused to read the new novel selection, Frindle written by Andrew Clements. He was supposed to read chapters 1-3 but refused. When he came home, my husband and I explained how refusing to read was not an option. He reluctantly read the first three chapters of the book and completed the accompanying worksheet. When I went to check the worksheet to see if he had actually done it, I noticed his response to the question, “What do you like about this book so far?” He wrote, “Nothing.” I told him what I have told my former English students (I am now a librarian) many times, “Those lines aren’t there for decoration.” I explained that he was entitled to his opinion but should elaborate.

Both of my sons are avid readers, so I became curious about this book. I took it out of my son’s backpack and read it cover to cover early this morning. I really liked this book. The book centers around 5th grader Nick Allen. Once he learned from his English teacher, Mrs. Granger, how words are invented, he decided to invent the word frindle as another word for pen. It started as a pack between Nick and his friends to use the word, but the conflict arises when the use of the word grows beyond his control and his teacher tries to stop the use of the word.

What I love about this book most is that is shows what happens when a student takes a lesson learned in the classroom and applies it in real life. A teacher’s greatest hope is that students take what they learn and use it. I found myself cheering on how the word frindle spread as I read the book. Although one of my sons does not like this book, I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5/5

Scholastic Book WizardGrades 4-7
Guided Reading LevelR
Accelerated Reader Level5.4

3 comments

  1. So James or Jerry did not like it?  What was his reason for not liking it and not having started the book? I am so glad you read the book and you will share YOUR opinion with him about the book to hopefully start a very great dialogue and learning.  People will have different opinions about books, art, movies, etc., but we can respect their opinion and culture.   Everyone of us could use that learning early in life so we can be better people.   Aunt Sue

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