Sunday, February 19, 2012

Frindle ~ An Award Winning Essay

My bright and beautiful, quirky and kind son wrote this essay for a contest sponsored by the San Diego Public Library.  He won!  The topic of his essay ~ If all the books in the world were about to disappear, which book would you save and why?  

  FRINDLE ~ By Mateo

Frindle is a book about a fifth grader named Nicholas Allen who creates a new word, and the word spreads across the country.  If all the books in the world were about to disappear I would choose this one because it’s about creativity, it teaches you how to make new words, plus it’s super funny.
Frindle is a book about creativity, and if you put something out there, you never know what to expect.  Really, this book makes you realize one change can go a long way.  Nicholas Allen learns from his teacher how words are created, how they are used, and how they aren’t used.
The book teaches you how words are created, and what words have to do to be a real word.  For example, it has to be written, spoken, and finally, put in the dictionary.
Frindle is a funny book with an interesting story about comedy and creativity and laughing at every page.  The story is so funny I laughed myself to sleep.  For example: “Mrs. Granger was one of those people who never sweats.  It have to be over 90 degrees before she even took off her jacket.”  This is one part of the book that is really funny.
In conclusion, Frindle is about creativity, how words are created, and a pinch of hyperbole.  All these reasons are why I chose Frindle to be the book I would save if all of the books were about to disappear.  I hope you have a great time reading Frindle.

I'm asking my followers and visitors to my blog to answer the essay question ~ If all the books in the world were about to disappear, which book would you save and why?  

30 comments:

Charlotte said...

Great essay! My own boys like Frindle lots too.

I think I would have to save the Oxford English Dictionary. One single story wouldn't be enough, but all the little stories that are in the dictionary would let me imagine a whole world.

Ali B said...

I wanted to be the first to respond to my son's brilliant essay. I'm so proud of him!

If all the books in the world were about to disappear, I would choose to save A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. This wasn't an easy choice. There are so many worthy books out there to choose from, but I chose AWIT because I think it is a book that appeals to a wide range of readers. It is a book that can be shared and enjoyed between the generations.

I also think that A Wrinkle in Time is timeless. It is a book I enjoyed 30 years ago, today, and I am sure I'll enjoy reading it 30 years from now.

I'm looking forward to hearing from bloggers and friends about their choice for that one special book they would save.

Ali B.

Kel I Am said...

Oh my dear clever Mateo! This is so well written and thought out. I loved reading your vision of this book and I will definately get it for Libby to read. Best line ever written:
'The story is so funny I laughed myself to sleep.'
Well done.
love,
Kelly (Libby & ELeri)

Karyn Huenemann said...

What a difficult question! If all the books but one were to disappear, I think I would want to save Kristen Cashore's Fire, because I love the world she creates, and it is a book I can read (have read) over and over and over... I can imagine in my mind other stories, with her characters or new ones, that could populate the world she has created. More than just one book, I would be saving that imaginative world.

Sandra McLeod Humphrey said...

First off, A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to your son! Secondly, I'm not going to be much help because A Wrinkle in Time is also my all-time favorite book and, if I had to give all the books in my library away except for one, that would be the one I would keep. It is timeless and so much more! Again, Congratulations to your son, I am so proud of him!

Barbara Bietz said...

What a thoughtful essay! Well done. I can't imagine choosing only one book to save - but I think it would have to be Charlotte's Web.

Katy Manck, MLS said...

Dear Mateo - Reading your essay made me remember all the funny parts of Frindle and laugh again, even though the book is not in my hands right now. That's the best part of reading something really good - being able to revisit it in your own mind and imagination, any time you want to.

So the book that I would save is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. It was my favorite in 5th grade (many years before the movie version), and I loved being able to imagine just how the chocolate waterfall smelled or the amazing sensation of an entire meal delivered by a single piece of chewing gum!

The way that Charlie's grandparents and parents loved him and encouraged him is also such a fine thing to remember. And the courage of his granddad, getting out of that bed after all those years so he could go with Charlie to the chocolate factory!!

Keep up the good work reading and writing and remembering, Mateo - there are many more books waiting for you to discover. Aren't we glad that our books are *not* disappearing?!

**Katy Manck
Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com
Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

Yellow Brick Reads said...

I really enjoyed your essay Mateo - I'll definitely have to pick up a copy of Frindle. If I could choose one book to save it would probably be Roald Dahl's The BFG (Big Friendly Giant). It was one of my favourite when I was your age. I especially liked the names of the BFG's food and drink in the book: vegetables called snozzcumbers and a fizzy drink called frobscottle!

Mr. H. said...

That's my boy. Proud of him. As for a book? It would have to be one that we can also use as a reference. History is important to our future as well. I was leaning towards Howard Zinn's book "A people's history of the United States" but since only one book can be saved, "A People's History of the World" by Chris Harman will have to do. ;)

Adrian said...

Way to go, Mateo! Adrian says he would save the book "Why We Need to Recycle" because then there would always be books in existence and we would not ever have to choose just one to save!

Linda Kinnaman said...

Wonderful and thought out essay, Mateo. I will need to read Tessa's copy of Frindle. I would have a very hard time picking out one book, but if I had to pick one, it would be "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" because it makes me think a lot about life.

The Book Chook said...

I would save the book, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. I've owned it for many years, and read it over and over. Yet each time I read it, it makes me laugh aloud. I think our world needs more laughter.

Sarah Albee said...

Hey Mateo,
That is a great essay. Your comment about laughing yourself to sleep made me realize I would want to save a funny book if all the books were about to disappear. Because people would probably need a good laugh. So I would save my copy of "The Best of P.G. Wodehouse." He is a hilarious writer, one of my favorites.

Katie DeKoster said...

Aww - Congrats to your son! I loved Frindle too :) And I would have to save The Hunger Games. No question. I seriously tried to get my husband to name our baby Katniss if it was a girl. There's just that compares with this series!

Sue Fliess said...

Very thoughtful! Great work Mateo. I would save Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, because it touches on so many important human emotions in there: anxiety, helplessness, selfishness, generosity, compassion, frustration, love, and hope. But most of all, love.

Jen Robinson said...

Congratulations, Mateo! Great work! And what a hard question. I would probably save Pride & Prejudice, because it's a book I can read over and over again, and find something new every time.

Ms. Yingling said...

Congratulations, Mateo! And if you really had to save a book, maybe you could grab a compilation of lots of Andrew Clement's books. I would save Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth because it is so well written and funny. It is a hard question, but I started thinking about the answer in 1980 when my English class read Fahrenheit 451 and the teacher asked us what book we would memorize.

Linda said...

Great job, Mateo. Congrats! Without a doubt, the book I would save is The Phantom Tollbooth. It is one of my favorite of all time. I loved this book as a child and to this day, still enjoy reading it to my kids. I think it is a masterpiece and a little under-appreciated. I love the play on words and its interesting perspective. My favorite part is when Milo conducts a color symphony.

Linda said...

Great job, Mateo. Congrats! Without a doubt, the book I would save is The Phantom Tollbooth. It is one of my favorite of all time. I loved this book as a child and to this day, still enjoy reading it to my kids. I think it is a masterpiece and a little under-appreciated. I love the play on words and its interesting perspective. My favorite part is when Milo conducts a color symphony.

Debra, Litland.com said...

Congratulations young man--you are an inspiration! I can imagine it was as difficult for you as for the rest of us to narrow this down to one book. If all books disappeared, and I had one left, I might hope for The Children of Green Knowe because Lucy Maria Boston's vocabulary is so rich that I think every time I would read it, new details would pop out. Also, it has stories within stories, so is like more than one book. Finally, I could do something different with it every day--create art interpretations, write my own screen play, act out characters, or write my own fan fiction to each character!

Jeanette W. Stickel said...

Great essay! If I had to choose one book to save, I’m not sure what I’d do. First I thought I’d grab Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield” (one of my all time favorites), but then I remembered, “Winnie-the-Pooh” (one of my all time favorites), I could not leave that behind. Next I thought of my mammoth book, “The Best Poems of the English Language,” selected by Harold Bloom (one of my . . .) In the end I was extremely relieved I don’t actually have to make this decision, but thank you, Mateo for pointing me in the right direction. I now know which book I’ll pick up next – Frindle. It sounds like a great read for me and one I’ll enjoy introducing to my students.

MotherReader said...

I think I would have to find a way to sneak other books into being saved because just one book is too hard! But if forced, I'd choose The Hobbit because every time I read it, I enjoy it all over again. It's a fantastic story, but also about good character and the struggle to do the right things, even when things go wrong.

Congratulations on your winning essay!

Jeff Barger said...

Well done, Mateo! Congratulations on your winning essay. I would choose Tuck Everlasting to save. It is a book that summarizes the experience of being a human and addresses the one question that all of us think about. Good luck in your future writing.

Renee LaTulippe said...

Congrats on your wonderful essay! If I had to save one book, I think I'd have to cheat and save the complete works of Jane Austen! But if only one, then I'd take Pride and Prejudice. Jane's language and wit are incomparable and her characters are so alive that I'd never feel alone. :)

Medea said...

What a great essay! I will look for this book for my kids!

If I could only save one book, I would save Anne of Green Gables, because if we have no other books we would need a lot of optimism and imagination and Anne has both in spades!

Terry D said...

Would it count if I picked an anthology? I love the 20th Century Children's Literature and it traveled everywhere with us. We had lots of great stories on hand all in one, neat place.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Good essay, Mateo - I read Frindle two or three years ago, and I agree with all of your points. As for saving a single book, I like the ideas posted by others, such as The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury or the OED, but I think I'd go for one of the annotated single-volume collections of Shakespeare. (Unless I had to carry it around myself, in which case I think I'd pick Swallows and Amazons, my favourite children's book....)

Lynda Mullaly Hunt said...

Hey, Mateo! Wow! COngrat's on doing such a wonderful job in writing your essay. I can see why it won the contest.

And, I agree--I just love the book, Frindle for all of the reasons that state so well. It is funny and it makes you think--those are my favorite kinds of books. The ones I find myself thinking about long afterward.

Hmmm...Hard to deciede what other books I may choose. Perhaps, A Wrinkle in Time, The Cay, and The Great Gilly Hopkins.

mad said...

Nice essay! Congratulations! (I love your "a pinch of hyperbole" comment.) My kids loved Frindle as well. I'd have a seriously hard time choosing one book, but I love the reasons you gave for choosing this one.

Gretchen said...

Wonderful job, Mateo! You have inspired me to reread Frindle.

If I had to choose a book to read, I would choose Middlemarch by George Eliot. It's a book I have never read but have wanted to for the last 10 years. A teacher once told me it was the greatest novel ever written in the English language.