Fifth grader Nick Allen knows just how to make school more cool. In third grade, he transformed Miss Deaver's room into a tropical paradise with some paper palm trees and a sandy beach. In fourth grade, he taught his classmates to mimic the high-pitched calls of blackbirds. But now, in fifth grade, clever Nick has come up with his most ingenious idea yet. After learning about the origins of words, he decides to change the word "pen" to "frindle." At first, it seems like a harmless prank, a way to annoy his dictionary-obsessed teacher. Then the whole class starts using the new word, and the joke spreads across town like wildfire. Suddenly Nick finds himself in the middle of a media frenzy over "frindle." Will Nick emerge from the controversy a troublemaker or a hero?