Frindle is not a movie. It’s a…sporgenthump. Er, no, it’s a jevridoo. Wow, it’s really hard to make up good fake words. Anyway, today brings news that Susan Sarandon is set to star in Frindle, a feature film based on a “children’s satire novel” that delves into an issue that has been puzzling philosophers and fucking up kids’ test scores since the dawn of humanity. Written by Andrew Clements in 1996, Frindle follows a fifth grader named Nick Allen who “comes up with an argument about how objects are named and where words come from.”
Damn. We see you, Nick Allen. According to the book’s Amazon summary, “When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he's got the inspiration for his best plan ever…Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle?” Clearly, young Nick is a confident youth who feels more than qualified to challenge centuries of linguistic theory and even Illinois’ SAT tests, which, as you might recall, posit that a lep is a ball and a korp is a tiger. In other words, Nick sounds like just the kind of attention-obsessed nightmare child we’ve all sat next to at some point and desperately wanted to punch, who disrupted class on a regular basis to ask “but why?” over and over again until his educator began to quietly sob.
Which is why it makes sense that Sarandon’s character, Nick’s English professor Margaret Granger, is rightly “dismayed” by the “worldwide phenomenon” that results from Nick’s low-level mindfuckery. Apparently, the book paints Mrs. Granger as the villain, a suppressor of free thought and whatnot, but as someone who has never attempted to teach grammar to a group of rowdy fifth-graders who are wildly reinventing the English language, I withhold all judgment.
Should you have accidentally stepped away from children’s literature for the past 20 years, The Tracking Board reports that Frindle has received 35 awards, including the 1997 Christopher Award, and has been “praised for conveying themes of creativity and instilling the freedom to question society, delicately balancing absurd humor with sharp social commentary.” Sam Harper, writer of of previous children’s satires Just Married and Open Season, will adapt the novel for the screen.