Thursday, August 7, 2008

The frindle is mightier than the word

I know I am late to extol the virtues of this one (10 years too late) but Frindle by Andrew Clements is a gem of a book. It is about a boy who has ideas. One day, pretty much to irritate a dogmatic teacher, he comes up with the idea of replacing the word, pen, with the word, frindle. Hi-jinks ensues.

My two eldest just loved the book. The whole notion that words come from somewhere and that their value was in how people understood their meaning was a great lesson. I might even be able to explain to them one day how it is that a piece of paper can be worth something. For now, we concentrated on the words. I even left them with a lesson from Shakespeare who is credited with introducing countless words into the English language including countless. It was an olympian effort; well at least after he invented the word olympian.

It has sold over 2 million copies but is unknown and seemingly unavailable here in Australia.