Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nothing But the Truth” as Want to Read:
Nothing But the Truth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nothing But the Truth

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  8,107 Ratings  ·  1,044 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nothing But the Truth, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Julie Suzanne
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Harry Potter Boxset by J.K. RowlingThe Giver by Lois LowryThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHoles by Louis SacharThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Top 100 Middle School Must-Reads
108th out of 1,135 books — 2,596 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloHatchet by Gary PaulsenPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale
Newbery Medal Honor Books
61st out of 318 books — 343 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 15, 2009 Greg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 26, 2013 Tiffy rated it did not like it
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 it was ok  ·  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.
Jan 26, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 2008 Abbie rated it really liked it
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
Xarii Sky
Jan 28, 2013 Xarii Sky rated it did not like it
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
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.

May 28, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
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
May 27, 2010 Stephen rated it did not like it
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
Nov 22, 2008 Barbara rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 24, 2008 Lara rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 09, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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.
Sara M
Sep 03, 2016 Sara M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

This book was not horrible, but not amazing either.
Basically all that it managed to do for me was annoy me. I was reading it for class, and the discussions that we had were really amazing, but the book itself just annoyed me. Philip is a jerk, but yet, I somehow have managed to feel kind of bad for him. Ms. Narwin is an amazing teacher and everyone likes her, other than Philip just for one stupid reason that he could have prevented if he had just tried harder on his exam. I think that
Aug 08, 2014 Moe rated it really liked it
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
Darth J
Jul 06, 2013 Darth J rated it did not like it
I LOVED this book so much!

Because this book was soooo damn lame.
Lisa Rathbun
Aug 11, 2011 Lisa Rathbun rated it really liked it
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
Nov 13, 2011 Sara rated it it was ok
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
Tasha'e Bell
Apr 24, 2013 Tasha'e Bell rated it liked it
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
Nov 11, 2009 babyhippoface rated it liked it
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
Anna Amirov
Jun 10, 2016 Anna Amirov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Required reading.
Shelves: required-to-read
I didn't really have high expectations, but this was pretty good. Nothing but the Truth is a surprisingly complex story showcasing how easily the truth can be manipulated and how the media can blow an event out of proportion.

Fortunately, Nothing but the Truth is morally ambiguous. The documentary history style of the novel was also interesting. Not all books have to evoke sympathy. Generally speaking, it was very fast-paced and clever. Enjoyed this.
Mar 30, 2007 jacky rated it it was ok
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
May 31, 2016 Andrew rated it did not like it
Phillip Malloy, an annoying 9th grader in Harrison high, strongly dislikes his new homeroom teacher, and English teacher, Miss Narwin. During morning exercises, Phillip hums the National Anthem, to hopefully get transferred out of her homeroom, which makes Miss Narwin furious and sends him to the office. From there, Phillip gets suspended for being "A class disruption.". Phillip, stating he hummed the national anthem gets quite upset, and it gets spread. It spread throughout the whole country in ...more
The Aquamarine
I had to read this book for summer reading. I heard from others who read it before that it is really, really bad and confusing. This was the only book that the teachers had for us, so I started reading it. This book really bored me and I hated how the poor teacher had to resign because of one student who just kept on exaggerating and partly lying to make other people dislike her. I feel that this is just a waste of my time reading and for other students to read.
Bridget Brady
Jun 14, 2016 Bridget Brady rated it really liked it
Nothing but the Truth by Avi is a great read. On the surface, the plot following this ninth grader who's having trouble with a teacher, and goofs off seems simple, but really, its a complex story about social dynamics within the schooling system, and from parent to child. Philip Malloy, or Phil, is a runner. All he wants to do is be on the high school track team. However, he has this teacher, Miss Narwin, who he really doesn't get along with. He complains she is boring and her material is outdat ...more
Aug 29, 2009 Rebecca rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Recommended to Rebecca by: school
UGH!!! I hated this book so so so much. My least favorite book I've ever read. I just wanted to throw it across the room. The main character is completely unsympathetic, I just hated him through the whole book. Just everything about this book made me angry, I didn't enjoy any part of it.
Jones RWG3
Aug 10, 2016 Jones RWG3 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Lee
When I first read the blurb on the back of the book, I thought it would be another cheesy story about how lies grow out of control that parents tell to their kids. When I read the part that read, "But- can you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth," I was very confident I could easily discern the lies and the truth. How-ever, similar to real life, the difference between truth and lie isn't black and white. Contrary to what I first thought, the story was filled with many half truths t ...more
Rain Misoa
Oct 24, 2013 Rain Misoa rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Mar 07, 2012 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sandra Stiles
Jul 02, 2010 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Has anyone read it for school? 11 31 Apr 01, 2016 10:23AM  
Nothing But the Truth Review 1 4 Jun 04, 2015 10:58PM  
BYU-Adolescent Li...: Nothing But the Truth 3 7 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 7 Jul 10, 2012 06:24PM  
7th graders 3 36 Feb 05, 2012 05:48PM  
  • Sugaring Time
  • Carver: A Life in Poems
  • The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane
  • What Jamie Saw
  • Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens
  • Frontier Living: An Illustrated Guide to Pioneer Life in America
  • Yolonda's Genius
  • Thistle and Thyme: Tales and Legends from Scotland
  • What Hearts
  • A Fine White Dust
  • Somewhere in the Darkness
  • Crazy Lady!
  • The Planet of Junior Brown
  • Like Jake and Me
  • The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural
  • The Horsecatcher
  • One-Eyed Cat
  • Belling The Tiger
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 popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...

Share This Book