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Year Published

Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine.

Plot Summary

Like most new fifth-graders, Nick Allen fears language arts with Mrs. Granger. She is a small woman with piercing eyes who loves the dictionary and doesn’t take kindly to Nick’s creative homework-avoidance techniques. When Mrs. Granger points out that words acquire meaning because people agree upon that meaning, Nick has a brilliant idea: Along with a group of friends, he begins calling pens frindles.

Soon, the whole town — and then the whole country — learns about the word war Nick is waging with his seemingly disgruntled teacher. Years later, when Nick is in college, Mrs. Granger sends him the first dictionary bearing the word frindle and admits she was on his side all along.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Nick’s parents do their best to walk the fine line between supporting their son’s creative endeavors and demonstrating respect for school authority. Although they feel the administration is overreacting to his use of the word frindle, they still urge Nick not to be disrespectful.

Mrs. Granger seems upset by the frenzy caused by Nick’s invented word. She even makes students stay after school for using it. As she later reveals to Nick, she is proud of his willingness to test the theories about word origins he learned in her class. She says she played the villain to make the situation more interesting

Profanity & Violence


Sexual Content


Discussion Topics

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.