Jade Nguyen's Reviews > Frindle

Frindle by Andrew Clements
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's review
Dec 09, 2011

it was amazing

1. { Genre }: Junior > Other > Realistic Fiction

2. { Summary }: Nick Allen is a persistent, yet creative fifth grade student who somehow takes language into his own hands and changes the way people look at it - all because of “frindle”.

3a. { Area for comment }: Message, Theme

3b. { Critique }: 
At first glance, I thought this book was going to be a somewhat light-hearted and humorous rendition of a teacher and student’s relationship. When the story begins to unravel itself, it clearly becomes more than just that.

3c. { Critique Example }:
“Frindle” has so many layers of messages in which it sends. This is a title in which not only students, but teachers can learn from. Mrs. Granger’s character, in my opinion, was assembled cleverly - was she for or against Nick Allen‘ recreation of the word pen? I wasn’t sure until the very end when she explained that allowing freedom for her students to be creative was important. I found this message to be extremely important because the situation of standards in “Frindle” is an absolutely realistic situation that any teacher would have to deal with. Though, when is it right to allow flexibility for the sake of creation? This is a hard one to answer...especially since the implementation of the VA SOL. It becomes less motivating to allow creativity, but it isn’t impossible.

4. { Curriculum Connection }:
I laugh when I think about bringing this text into the classroom. I think it would be completely relevant when the topic of language arises. However, I only hope that my students wouldn’t take the book literally and go on their own frindle-like voyages. I would have to carefully plan for a creatively stimulatingproject in which they can take ownership of their products, but not exploit it in such a way that interferes with the learning environment. Perhaps, if it’s not inventing their own word, it’s inventing a concept whether it be a product or abstract idea - the possibilities are endless.

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