Frindle, that sneaky little book I found on a student’s desk last week, the book I thought would just be a silly read, made me cry at the end.
Nick, the main character, is a kid who reminds me of my students. His ideas are fantastic, hilarious, and memorable. But his newest, greatest idea is being squashed by his teacher, Ms. Granger. She will not allow students to use the word frindle instead of pen. I couldn’t believe what a big deal she was making out of the whole thing. In fact, I felt like she was making the matter worse by being so strict and punishing all the kids with after school detention.
Well, I was duped by Ms. Granger. She did make a big deal out of something that most of us would have ignored. As a teacher, who knows and cares for her students, she identified an opportunity to challenge a unique student, honoring his imagination and creativity. She only pretended to be the villain and, with her super teacher skills, simultaneously built a lifelong connection with Nick and completely changed the course of his life in a positive way.
What made me cry at the end of the story? Nick, all grown up, said thank you.