Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel

by Avi

The ironic title aptly captures the far-reaching impact of Philip Malloy's attempt... read more

The ironic title aptly captures the far-reaching impact of Philip Malloy's attempt to get transferred out of the class of an English teacher he resents. After her less-than-passing grade keeps him from trying out for the track team, Philip tries to annoy her by humming along with the national anthem played over the PA system during homeroom. When he is disciplined by the assistant principal, his actions become a political forum for a school board candidate as an example of repression of patriotic behavior. Events snowball as everyone involved scrambles to cover themselves, leaving the well-intentioned teacher as scapegoat to what has become the focus of national attention. When she finally attempts to set the story straight, the media and public have lost interest. A documentary format that consists of letters, memorandums, diary entries, and verbatim conversations skillfully highlights the lack of real communication present. Honor Book, 1991 CCBC Newbery Discussion. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1991

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