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Always one step ahead of his teachers, Nick not only can "feel a homework assignment coming the way a farmer can feel a rainstorm" but can dream up a distraction to prevent the assignment from being given. In fifth grade, however, he meets his match in tough language-arts teacher Mrs. Granger. Just to get under her skin‘and despite her loud protests‘he invents the word "frindle" and convinces the whole school to use it instead of the word "pen." The word spreads to the city, nation and world, and Clements (Big Al) fast-forwards the story by 10 years to show that "frindle" has made it into the dictionary. With this coup Nick gets a big surprise: the proof that Mrs. Granger was rooting for "frindle" all along. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, his well-worn word has become real. Dictionary lovers will cotton to this mild classroom fantasy, while readers who have a hard time believing that one person could invent a word out of thin air will be surprised to learn that the word "quiz" was invented the same way. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)

Gr 3-6-Nick, a clever fifth grade students, is determined to outsmart his no-nonsense, dictionary-loving teacher, Mrs. Granger. When he invents "Frindle," a new word for pen, he manages to get fellow students and shopkeepers to use the word. Annoyed, Mrs. Granger keeps students who use the new word after school. The war over the word escalates, and first local and then national media pick up the story. Marketing rights to tie-ins (such as pens marked "Frindle") make Nick very wealthy. Ten years later, Nick and Mrs. Granger again correspond when the word "Frindle" is admitted to Mrs. Granger's favorite dictionary. Andrew Clements' story (S&S, 1996) is a fresh take on the classic student-teacher relationship. Reader John Fleming has a news anchorman voice, and the story is told by the third person narrator. Fleming does not differentiate the voices of the characters, but there is not an abundance of dialogue. The audio version of this likable book provides enjoyable listening for individuals and families.-Fritz Mitnick, Shaler North Hills Library, Glenshaw, PA

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