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Andrew Clements: A Frindley Writer

When he was a very young boy, Andrew Clements loved A.A. Milne's House at Pooh Corner and Margaret Wise Brown's The Five Little Firemen. By the time he started school, he already loved reading. He read so much he surprised his teachers. Once he checked out a big book of Greek myths from the school library. The next day, he brought it back. The librarian said if it had been too hard for him he was welcome to get another book. Andrew wanted another book all right. Another thick book. He had finished the Greek myths in one day and was ready for more good stuff.

 

 

Andrew read his way through stacks of books. Some of his favorites were Robert Louis Stevenson's Child's Garden of Verses, Treasure Island, and Kidnapped as well as books by Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.

Andrew appreciated his teachers, and he grew up to be a teacher himself. He taught kids in elementary school, middle school, and high school, and he learned a lot from all of them. His stories are filled with the kinds of problems that he knew they experienced plus their sense of wonder and willingness to try new things. He has written books for very young kids as well as books for teenagers.

Ugly Fish Makes Good

One of Andrew Clements' first big successes was a picture book called Big Al. There are many beautiful, little fish in the sea. Big Al watches them swim in swirls of silver and gold. He wants so much to be their friend. But Al is big, and he is ugly. Al scares off the little fish no matter how hard he tries. All the same, he keeps hanging around, hoping that someday they will change their minds, and someday he does indeed get a chance to prove to them that it takes more than good looks to make a good friend. Big Al's adventures continue in Big Al and Shrimpy.

It's a Frindle!

What's a frindle? It's filled with ink, and you can use it to write. Some people might call it a pen, but to the kids at Nicholas Allen's school, it was now officially called a frindle. Soon it was catching on. All over town, people would ask to borrow frindles. But Mrs. Granger, the school's toughest grammar teacher, was determined to put an end to Nicholas' new word.

Frindle the book has sold more than 2 million copies. And, that's just in the United States. It has been reprinted all around the world in many languages. If you like Frindle, you may also want to try The Report Card, Lunch Money, and No Talking.

Andrew Clements Online
Got a report due? Use your CRRL card to check out Biography Resource Center's articles on Andrew Clements through OneSearch.

Andrew Clements: Book Festival 2006 Webcast
www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=3998
Washington, D.C.'s National Book Festival draws amazing authors to the National Mall each September. Andrew Clements' visited there in 2006. You don't have to time-travel to watch to Andrew Clements' speech. Just click the link above and settle in for a half-hour author talk.

Andrew Clements' Website
www.andrewclements.com
The author's own Web site has his biography, calendar of appearances, announcements of new and forthcoming books, parts of speeches,

Andrew Clements Quizzes and Andrew Clements Trivia
www.funtrivia.com/quizzes/for_children/kid_lit_authors_a_-_k/andrew_clem...
Quizzes for Frindle, Room One, The School Story, The Report Card, The Last Holiday Concert, and many of his books together in one quiz. Unless you have a photographic memory, you'll want to have a copy of the book in hand when you take these quizzes—they are tough!

Interview with Andrew Clements
www.k-state.edu/english/nelp/clements/
The author talks about what makes a 5th grader different from a 6th grader, the power of language, and his favorite picture books.

The Official Frindle Web site
www.frindle.com
Really like Frindle? The site has answers to questions kids often ask—Will there be a sequel? How long did it take to write?—