Audiobook Week, hosted by Jen from Devourer of Books, started Monday! It’s not too late to join in!
And don’t forget to sign up for our own read of A Prayer for Owen Meany, starting July 2nd!
It’s always surprising to see a more recent title on the list. Frindle by Andrew Clements (#38) is from 1996, the year I was supposed to finish college, so I hadn’t heard of it until I started volunteering in the elementary school library. I’m not a fan of titles with made up words so I never looked at it. Funnily enough, the whole point of the book is that this is a made-up word!
What it’s about: Nicholas Allen is a pro at disrupting class in a way that gets him and his classmates out of working too hard. But his new fifth-grade English teacher is no dummy and she outwits him. His only revenge is to do something she would never see coming — create a new word for pen, “frindle”, thus subverting her precious order of things.
Age level: Grades 2-5
Best characters: Nicholas Allen is a great kid. He’s smart and well-intentioned and something he does at the end of the book (as a young adult) is remarkably thoughtful and sweet. And I also liked his teacher, Lorelei Granger, who had a real love for her subject and who was also able to admit when she was wrong.
Worst character: Nicholas’ dad isn’t in the book much but it drove me crazy that when he was approached by a businessman who *had already monetized his son’s word without permission*, he didn’t even care and quickly signed away the lion’s share of profits on products related to “frindle”. I know that a legal battle for rights to the word wouldn’t have been very interesting in a kids’ story but it just bugged me that his dad didn’t really look out for him. I guess it all worked out in the end though.
The best thing about this book is that I can see it inspiring kids to think outside the box, to look at the world around them and to know that they can leave their mark on it if they try. I’m not sure that it’s a must have for every kid’s library but Frindle is a story with a good message, told in an engaging and fun way.
My next read is Swallows and Amazons which I’m really looking forward to. I have heard good things about it and I always love taking a look at books that have stayed in the collective consciousness for a long time, in this case eighty-three years.
Schedule – June through September
note: dates are not necessarily set in stone – posts may go up a day or two before or after
June 30 - #58 Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (1930) — 1st in a series
July 15 - #100 Love that Dog by Sharon Creech (2001)
July 31 - #42 Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (1957)
August 15 - #19 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1932)
August 30 - #18 The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (1964)
September 15 - #29 The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (2005)
September 30 - #30 Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988)
October 15 - #56 A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)
And the votes are in! The winner of our Estella Project Summer Readalong is A Prayer for Owen Meany by the prolific John Irving!
If you’d like to join us for this readalong, the deets are below…