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Nothing But the Truth

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  6,499 ratings  ·  778 reviews
Orchard Classics is a collectible hardcover line of award-winning titles from the Orchard backlist with fresh, beautiful new designs and new author prefaces and discussion guides.

Ninth grader Philip Malloy is forbidden to join the track team because of his failing grades in English class. Convinced that the teacher just doesn't like him, Philip concocts a plan to get trans
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Orchard (first published January 1st 1991)
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Community Reviews

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The Story of Some Asshole Kid who fucks up some poor teacher's life

I gave this two stars, and then decided it's not worth two stars. The book would be crappy but innocent if it wasn't for it's Newberry Award and the blurb from the New York Times, about the story of the main character needing to be shouted out. This story doesn't need to be shouted out, it's a bullshit story, and if I had read this book with some of the patriotic covers I would have probably thrown the thing across the room about
DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND READ THIS BOOK! If you want to try your luck and see if you like it, by all means. But from someone who was forced to read this book, and I love reading all types of books so that's not the issue, I am personally suggesting you do not. The different styles of writing can leave you confused, it would go by fast if it were not so boring and over all it really has not point. It does teach you a lesson about lying but in my personal opinion it is the fact that Philips dad ...more
Aug 31, 2007 Erin rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students in the middle school
Nothing But The Truth This book honestly, is good for that kid who believes that school is no good and the adults are out to bring down kids. Honestly. The objective exposition of information and surprise ending makes this a good read for the younger set. I found it annoying, but I think that's because as a faculty member, it really bugged me how everyone failed to research the facts and the administration was all about covering its tracks.
I had a very large mixture of feelings about this book. I liked the plot, I didn't like the main character. I hated the end although it probably is the best end it could have and still be realistic. What made this book awesome was its complexity. The way it made you think and the way it challenges the concept of truth. Phil told what he knew as the truth but Miss Narwin also told what she knew as the truth. Neither were wrong yet neither was right. Then of course the principal just told everythi ...more
My 13 year old daughter was given this book as a Christmas present. She read it in 2 days (a clue that she liked it). I picked it up a few days ago and finished it quickly as well.

We had an interesting discussion about the book at dinner tonight. I was surprised by her support of the teacher character (I expected her to side with the student). We talked about how one incident can escalate into a huge problem, and how gossip can destroy people.

I admit that I didn't like Phillip very much, but I
Xarii Sky
Absolutely terrible. I haven't even finished the book yet and it's just bad. It's basically about a snotty kid who doesn't like English or the teacher that teaches English and thinks she's so mean and terrible to him while everyone seems to like her. He thinks she has something against him which is not the case, she finds him to be nice and just wishes he'd try better, but he makes rude comments and class. When he not only has her for English but homeroom too, he is outraged. When the morning an ...more
The main character, Philip Mallory, is entering high school. He wants desperately to be on the track team, but he's not so interested in studying -- especially literature. And
he's not about to read The Call of the Wild. Kid stuff. ('What can you say about a dog?') He's somewhat interested in girls, and strikes me as the typically unmotivated learner who lives for sports.

Philip has a habit that his homeroom teacher, Mr. Lunser, has tolerated in spite of the school directive that when the national
Avi is one of my favorite writers. So this book is presented like a file for a crime. This even happened at this time and place. There is really no narration. No persuasion. Just a very stark, neutral telling of events. A young boy refuses to stand for the national anthem or refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance or something like that (it's been awhile). The school wants to discipline him. He claims he has the right to not do it. But as the facts come to light, you see that the boy's defense m ...more
This was such a great, though provoking book. I read it right before the election, which seemed appropriate. It just goes to show how easily the truth can get twisted. It's a sad story, but I am still thinking about it. I can't wait to discuss it with someone. It just goes to show why I love children's literature.
Its good to finally find a fast-paced novel. I have gotten sick of authors dragging out the plot sequence page after page. I liked how the format is like a script, telling you who is talking and how the people are communicating for a better visual. I think that "Nothing But The Truth" is mostly about how if one person does something (like overreact over something silly) for there own benefit, it can make a big commotion and get people in trouble. This book once again shows how powerful today's m ...more
Lisa Rathbun
As a teacher myself who has had students like Philip in my classes, I found this story an interesting and frustrating example of how easily things can get blown out of proportion. The student hummed during the anthem; the school rule said students were to listen in silence; the teacher tells the student to be quiet. What else is a teacher supposed to do? Well, bring in a resentful student with a bad attitude, defensive parents, unsupportive adminsitration, and sensationalist media and see what a ...more
Stacey B.
1.5 stars

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I did not enjoy this book at all. The only reason I finished it was because it was short and a very quick read. The plot angered me and the story never really went anywhere. I just feel like more could have been done with the storyline. It was boring and nothing got accomplished.

COVER: I do like the cover of the book. I love that it's simple and that they used the word to The Star Spangled Banner in the form of a flag; I think that's pretty clever.

Nothing but the Truth is a subversive little Young Adult novel that takes on educational hypocrisy, personal accountability, and freedom of speech. 9th grade Phillip Malloy, banned from the track team for his poor grade in English, decides to get booted from class in order to transfer to another teacher and improve his grade. Defying the school's rule of respectful silence during the morning playing of "The Star Spangled Banner," Phillip hums along, only to find himself suspended from school for ...more
Tasha'e Bell
Have you ever had something that was so good at the beginning, than turned out to be a bust? Well that's what your going to get with Nothing But The Truth. NBTT is the tale of a boy named Phillip that gets into trouble multiple times with one of his teachers for being disruptive. This turns into a patriotic battle between a teacher and the nation. The plot turns from good to bad which makes it an some what entertaining, okay read.

NBTT has some strong points that I enjoyed. I like how the book ha
Mar 30, 2007 jacky rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
This is another YA book I read as an adult. At this point in time, I was reading as many YA frequently challenged books as I could in order to see if I agreed with them being challenged. I don't think this book should be challenged. I didn't enjoy this book that much though. The format was interesting; it is set up like a collection of documents. What caused me to not like the book that much though was that I thought the main character was a jerk a lot of the time.

Newbury honor
I LOVED this book so much!

Because this book was soooo damn lame.
Rain Misoa
Oct 24, 2013 Rain Misoa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English literature fans and people who don't really like "Happy Endings."
Recommended to Rain by: My 9th Grade English Teacher, Ruth!
Shelves: education, must-own
This book has been a part of my life for a very long time. I was first introduced to this book back when I was a freshman in high school. My English teacher at the time, Ruth, taught us from various novels instead of the typical "read a classic, write a paper" sort of way. She used to let us read the book, together as a class, and helped us really try to understand its characters and messages. In short, I loved the way she taught. I still do. I've always loved reading, but it was because of Ruth ...more
This book was brilliantly structured. It's called a documentary history because the entire book consists of transcripts of conversations, memos, newspaper articles, etc. so that the reader is forced to examine what's happened based on an outside view and make a judgement of the motives. There is no inner voice from characters, only what they actually say or write. Very thought-provoking and interesting to see how the story subtly changes in the telling. It involves a boy suspended from high scho ...more
I'm really divided by this book.

On the one hand, I think it opens up some really interesting questions about the power of gossip, hearsay, and ways in which the truth can easily be twisted and changed. The "documentary" style of the book is definitely interesting, and opens up a lot of possible conversation.

On the other hand, I found pretty much every character insufferable, I could not stand Phillip especially, and while he does end up being punished in the end, not nearly enough of a punishmen
Sandra Stiles
Phillip Malloy is your typical ninth grader. He has his favorite subjects and his favorite teachers. Miss Narwin is not one of his favorite teachers. He makes jokes about the assignments and doesn’t give 100% of himself to his studies. He earns a D in English and is not allowed to try out for track, the only thing he really wants to do in school. He decides he wants out of Narwin’s class at all cost. He didn’t realize the cost of his actions would be so high. He hums along with the playing of th ...more
A book with mixed feelings. It's so frustrating and irritating and WRONG that you want to throw it when you're done.
But that's what makes this a good book. Because I think this is plausible.

Parents who are squashed by their jobs "want something different for their kids". THEIR kids aren't just going to roll over and get bullied (like they do). THEIR kid is going to stand up to a teacher and sing the star spangled banner.

Right, couldn't you see that happening?? Can't you see a certain type of pa
Diamonique Joyner
This book was like a rollercoaster. In the beginning it was good, then it began to have it's ups and downs. I think that this book was very interesting . I just didn't agree with all the events that took place in the book.

I liked the fact that Phillip Malloy stood up for himself. He didn't back down from anyone. He never let anyone change his opinions or his personality. In the book Phillip Malloy continued to sing the Star Spangled Banner even though he was told that he was not allowed to. He b
Wow. I can't believe how much this book bothered me. I never have liked Avi much; I guess our styles clash. But I had heard about this title for years, so today I picked it up and starting reading. I don't yet know if I'm glad I did, or wish I hadn't.

The problem is that this scenario is more realistic than I would like to believe. In fact, an author's note at the beginning reveals that similar situations have taken place all over the country. And that is just... disturbing. So many characters o
Nothing but the Truth
Orchard Books, 1991,177 pp, $16.95 hardcover
ISBN 0-531-05959-6
“While it may appear to be an April Fools Day joke, tenth grader Phillip Malloy of Harrison High School was suspended for singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’” That line has kept me reading on and on until the very end. This may seem impossible, but it happened to this boy and it may happen to you.
Phillip Malloy always hates his teacher, Ms. Narwin because she gives Philip not high enough grades to let Phill
May 27, 2010 Stephen rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one; Those who like torture
Recommended to Stephen by: I read it for class; worst book I've read the whole year
This book is complete shit. When I finished it, I just threw it across my room and picked up another book. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this novel. First of all, for a book that's really all dialogue, why can't Avi write dialogue well at all? Everybody talks exactly the same and when they talk they sound so ridiculous. There's nothing realistic about it. He's no Elmore Leonard or David Mamet, that's for sure.

Also, the ending. One of the worst endings I've ever read simply because
This thing is just so clever. It's sort of a mystery, but mostly it reads a LOT like one of those "docudrama" reality shows, which makes the subtitle oh-so-fitting. There's lots of humor that subtly presented but that younger readers won't get. Definitely one for the older kids who are able to follow the various dialogues, journal entries, newspaper articles, and the such. I would almost classify it as satire, what with its hilarious depictions of public schools and patriotism. Surprised it isn' ...more
Angie Fehl
Having also been turned into a play by Ronn Smith, this short YA novel focuses around 9th grader Phillip Malloy whose one moment of acting out becomes a media sensation. Phillip does not get along with his home room / English teacher, Mrs. Narwin and believes she has it out for him. The school has a rule about students maintaining absolute silence while the national anthem is played over the intercom every morning, but Phillip decides one day that he wants to hum along. Mrs Narwin asks him to st ...more
Let me say first that I am a teacher. Secondly, this book aggravates me. And I think the reason this book gets under my skin so much is because
Avi has created a story that I can believe. To my mind, that's good writing.

I generally do not like realistic fiction, but this is a story I come back to again and again. I honestly can't say I am glad it is part of the curriculum at my school, as I fear that it's too easy for students to miss the point of this book - up until the penultimate sentence, i
Nell S
This book is so different than most books. The story is told through documents. And it's not about two people's lives it's more like how one incident got out of hand and that lead to the ruin of two peoples' lives.
Philip realised how it had got out of hand and all the adults that he could talk to were completely oblivious. But that's how his parents act basically throughout the entire book. You can tell that they're trying but, they either just assume Philip's upset because of hormones or they
Celia Goodell
This books is interesting from an educators point of view. It is the story of so many stories that come up in the media or on the internet that aren't quite what they seem to be. It's a story of half-told truths, defending oneself and the need to be right. The main character is a boy in high school that doesn't like a teacher, misunderstands her and isn't quite aware of how his story can be twisted to suit others needs. As everyone scrambles to protect their jobs and the image of the school they ...more
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Has anyone read it for school? 10 26 Nov 02, 2014 08:03PM  
BYU-Adolescent Li...: Nothing But the Truth 3 6 Jun 11, 2013 08:09PM  
YA Reads for Teac...: July 2012 - Classic YA - Nothing But the Truth by Avi 16 26 Jul 30, 2012 07:40AM  
Respectful Silence 1 5 Jul 10, 2012 06:24PM  
7th graders 3 32 Feb 05, 2012 05:48PM  
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Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use."
Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and The Crispin series. His work is very much desired by readers young and old.
More about Avi...
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Crispin #1) Poppy (Tales of Dimwood Forest, #1) The Seer of Shadows Midnight Magic

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