In the realistic-fiction novel, Nothing But the Truth by Avi, ninth-grader Philip Malloy aspires to run for the school’s track team. Unfortunately, his satirical answers on his final exam earned him a failing grade in his English class, taught by Miss Narwin. Without a passing grade, Philip could not run on the track team.
After finding out his inability to join the track team, the next morning, instead off standing respectfully, he hummed along to the National Anthem in Miss Narwin’s homeroom. Dismissing his childish behavior with a reprimand, the teacher sends him to the principal’s office when he defied her and hummed again the following morning. Refusing to apologize to his teacher, Philip was suspended from school for two days by the principal.
Claiming that he was suspended for singing the National Anthem, his father told their neighbor who was running for the school board. As his story gains national headlines, the truth gets twisted and turned. Will Philip come clean and promise to tell nothing but the truth?
I had mixed feelings about this book. This book could have been much improved. The beginning seems to have promise of being a good and simple book. In the novel, Philip, the main character, is unnecessarily rude with his English teacher, who seems like a nice lady. Treating and blaming Miss Narwin, Philip fails to take ownership for his poor grades, which were his own fault. An interesting aspect of the book was how it was written in “script.” With such an abrupt ending, I did not enjoy it the novel as much as I expected. Overall the novel was below expectations, but it was a quick and easy read for anyone in middle school.
Nothing but the Truth is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library.