Andrew Clements

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Themes and Colors
Language Theme Icon
Power, Hierarchy, and Rules Theme Icon
Responsibility and Fame Theme Icon
Leadership and Teamwork Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Frindle, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.


Frindle tells the story of fifth grader Nick Allen, who is described as a boy who isn't a bad kid by any means, just one who has lots of ideas and enjoys putting them to work in ways that annoy his teachers. This leads Nick to begin a contest of wills with his dictionary-loving language arts teacher Mrs. Granger by deciding that pens should be known as "frindles," something that the entire school…

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Power, Hierarchy, and Rules

Though Nick insists he never meant to incite a war with his fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Granger, by renaming pens “frindles”—a name that sweeps the school, city, and then entire nation—this is exactly what he ends up doing. As the battle progresses, and as Nick emerges as the leader of the winning side, the novel interrogates the power structures that make Nick's win unlikely in the first place and that, ultimately are in place to…

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Responsibility and Fame

As the word "frindle" captures the imaginations of Nick's classmates and eventually, the imaginations of others across the nation, Nick finds himself thrust suddenly into the limelight. He finds the attention exciting at first, though it soon becomes difficult to manage the responsibility of having created an entirely new word. As Nick navigates the difficult landscape of being briefly famous, he's forced to decide what he should do with his fame. Ultimately, Nick's decisions…

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Leadership and Teamwork

When Nick embarks on his quest to turn the made-up word "frindle" (meaning “pen”) into a term accepted by the masses, he recognizes immediately that he cannot change the English language on his own. In making it clear that Nick is a leader but is, more than anything, a team player, Frindle focuses on the value of collective action and suggests that working together towards a common goal is one of the best and most…

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