Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel

Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel

by Avi

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

$6.60 $6.99 Save 6% Current price is $6.6, Original price is $6.99. You Save 6%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Use Standard Shipping. For guaranteed delivery by December 24, use Express or Expedited Shipping.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545174152
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 18,897
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Avi's work spans nearly every genre and has received nearly every major prize, including the Newbery Medal for CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD and Newbery Honors for NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH and THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE. Avi lives in Denver, Colorado. You can visit him online at

Date of Birth:

December 23, 1937

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Tuesday, March 13

10:35 P.M.

From the Diary of Philip Malloy

Coach Jamison saw me in the hall and said he wanted, to make sure I'm trying out for the track team!!!! Said my middle school gym teacher told him I was really good!!!! Then he said that with me on the Harrison High team we have a real shot at being county champs. Fantastic!!!!!! He wouldn't say that unless he meant it. Have to ask folks about helping me get new shoes. Newspaper route won't do it all. But Dad was so excited when I told him what Coach said that I'm sure he'll help.

Saw a thing on TV about Olympic committees already organizing all over the country. Olympics. I'm going to be there! County champs. State champs. College champs. Then Olympics! Folks always reminding me about the money they're putting aside for my college, which is the only way to go. That's what did Dad in, dropping out. Too hard to get noticed with just clubs.

Rainy and cold. I hate this kind of weather. Slows you down. Still ran six miles. I'm getting stronger.

Oh, yeah.... At lunch Sarah Gloss came up and said she had to speak to me. Said this girl, Allison Doresett, likes me. I had to act cool because I wasn't sure who she was. Then I remembered she's in my English class and is really decent. She must have liked that gag question I asked. The two of us would be front-of-the-line. Bet she heard about my running too. Girls go for guys who win. Ta-da! It's Malloy Magic time!

Talk about Malloy Magic.... This time for -- dadum! -- Miss Narwin. I mean, what can you do with an English teacher who's so uptight shemust have been put together with super glue. Try to make a joke -- lighten things up a bit -- she goes all flinty-faced. Shift to sweet, she goes sour. I mean, people can't have their, own minds about anything!!! Talk about a free country!!! And the stuff we have to read! Can't believe how stupid and boring Jack London is! I mean, really. The Call of the Wild. Talk about dogs! Ma says she had to read it when she was in school. There has to be better stuff to read for ninth grade somewhere. I thought high school was going to be different.

Have to figure a way to run past Narwin.

10:45 P.M.
From a Letter Written by
Margaret Narwin
to Her Sister, Anita Wigham

Yes, Anita, I suppose that after doing anything for twenty-one years a body does get a little tired. And I have been teaching English at Harrison High for just that long. All the same, I remain steadfast in my belief that my life was meant to be the bringing of fine literature to young minds. When the connection is made -- and from time to time it is made -- it's all worth it. Is it wrong to speak of the work as a calling? Well, teaching is almost a religion to me. I will complain from time to time, but -- it is my life. The truth is, I like it.

But the other truth, Anita, is that students today are not what they used to be. There is no love of literature. Not the way you and I learned it from Mother. Young people don't read at all today- outside of school requirements. They come to literature reluctantly at best, fighting me every inch of the way. It's not as if they aren't bright. They are. And I like them and their capacity for independence. But the other side of that independence is a lack of caring for anything beyond themselves. If they ask me once more "What's this have to do with us?" I think I'll scream. Of course, I don't scream. You have to treat them with care and fairness. Fairness is so important to them.

For example: these days I'm teaching The Call of the Wild. A student raised his hand to say he didn't understand "who was calling who." Now if I were to laugh or mock, he would be insulted. And I would lose him.

This boy, Philip Malloy, is new to me. I met his parents at First Night, and they seem like pleasant folks; they come regularly to PTA meetings. They are educated -- she is, anyway. I'm not sure what they do.

But this Philip -- an only son, by the way, which may be the problem -- is only a middling student, and it's a shame. A nice-looking boy. A boy I like. Intelligent. With real potential. Perhaps that's why he irritates me so -- for he shows no desire to strive, to make sacrifices for the betterment of self, the way we were taught. And, oh, my, Anita, so restless! Worst of all, like so many of them, he exhibits no desire to learn. No ambition at all! But it's not even that I mind so much. No, it's a certain something -- a resistance -- to accepting the idea that literature is important. For him or anyone! But it is. It is! If I could only convince students of that. It's that desire that keeps me going.

I can hear you saying, "Come on down to Florida, Anita, I don't know if I am ready for that yet.

Yes, I could take early retirement. Mr. Benison (scence) is doing so. But then, he's older than I. And has a wife who works. The truth is, Anita, I would be lost without my books, my teaching, my students.

I had a note from Ethel Truebel! Do you rememberher? She used to be in the West Fork Church congregation years ago. It seems ...

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Nothing but the Truth 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 226 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, I totally loved this book and wanted to say so after I read it. It is really put together in an interesting way. I had to read it for my 8th grade lang. arts/history class, and at first I was little confused until I realized I had to put all the pieces of the puzzle together to figure out the story. I can't believe some other students on this site thought it was boring because most of the kids in my class really liked it. I have to say that some of the posters might not have been smart enough to figure it out. In the novel you really get everyone's point of view from different angles. Unfortunately, anyone who is stupid or lazy will probably not get what is happening because it is not the usual kind of plot. Ironically, me and most of my classmates really sided with the teacher in the end.
Jill_R20 12 days ago
I believe that this book had a lot of parts that were huge turn offs for me. *spoiler* For example, the ending was that Philip didn’t know the words to the Star Spangled Banner and he cried when asked to sing it after transferring schools. Also, Miss Narwin left and I don't think that that was a good idea because it is showing kids that its okay to just give up and stop fighting when it really isn’t. *end spoiler* I want to point out, as well, that the face that the book switched between a script type format and a diary/memo type format was really annoying and made me feel like Avi didn’t know how to make a decision. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone because it just isn’t a good book or fun to read.
alivia-brown More than 1 year ago
Alivia Brown 9-6-2011 Nothing but the Truth Retell In the story nothing but the truth, a boy named Philip Malloy who is 15 years old wants to be on the track team for Harrison High School. Little does Philip know he failed English class and can't tryout. So he tries to blame it on the lovely English teacher Miss. Narwin. Philip then decides to tick Miss Narwin off by singing the "National Anthem" every single morning when the students are to be showing respect by being quiet.So the next morning , when announcements were over and the principle turned on the "National Anthem " Philip Malloy decided to hum along with the music. The English teacher, Miss Narwin, asked him nicely to stop and be quiet. When school was over he told his mother what had happened and thought it was a stupid reason to get yelled at.The next morning , Philip went to his homeroom for annoucements.The principle ,Dr. Doane, asked everyone to please stand up while the "National Anthem " was being played. So Philip once again started humming to the national anthem. Miss Narwain had asked him once really nicely to stop but Philip would refuse to stop. So she sent Philip to the office .When Philip walked into the office Dr. Palleni asked him why you are in here and he told him not to do it again so he won't get into any trouble. When school was over, Philip when home and told him mother and father that it had happened again. He got in trouble for singing the national anthem but this time he was sent to the office. Philip's dad told him that was a really dumb excuse and that he needs to stick up for himself.The next morning, when Philip got to school he went to his homeroom for the announcements and they played the "National Anthem" and once again hummed to the beat. Miss Narwin asked him very politely to stop and Philip did not listen so she said it once again and Philip told her that he is not going to stop singing. Miss Narwin was really mad that he had talked back to her and so she told him to go to the office but Philip would refuse to go. So Miss. Narwin told him again to go to the office again and so he finally went to the office to go talk to Dr. Palleni.Philip walked into the office and Dr. Palleni told him that he needs to stop this foolishness and told Phillip all he had to was apologies' to Miss.Narwin and he would not be suspended. But Philip refused to apologies' to her and took the suspension instead. When Philip got home, he told his mom and dad at dinner they thought it was so stupid and pathetic that he would get suspended just for singing the "National Anthem ". So his dad walked over to his neighbor and saw that there was a reporter their and asked his neighbor if he could let Philip talk to her about the deal of why he was suspended. The next day, his parents and all the teachers was reading the news paper. Philip started to act different in some way. His parents would ask him if he was ok but he never would say a word about why he was acting so weird. After all the commotion between the story and his parents it got way worse. The reporters were asking all different questions and by the time his suspension was over all his friends were so mad at him for making Miss Narwin look like the bad person of all of this so his friends ended up starting a petition for Miss Narwin. By the time this all happened his parents were thinking of using his college money to let him go to an expensive private school.
Madelyn-Nanney More than 1 year ago
I didn't like the end when Philip is asked to lead the "Star Spangled Banner" and he doesn't know it. Another part I didn't like was when Philip got a suspension for humming it and "causing a distubance". I would not recommend this to anyone, b/c it is not good. When Philip had a crush (Allison) I thought they should have dated instead of hating or despising each other toward the end. Lastly, I think Philip should not have went to Washington Academy, he should have just worked things out with Narwin. Thanks Mr. Phillips, if I were you, I wouldn't make next years class read this. No offense.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book because I learned many things about telling a lie. I would reccomend this book to other people to read becase it has many things that you can learn from it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nothing But the Truth is an amazing book. It tells how tabloids mix the easiest things up. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes any Avi book.
Anonymous 12 days ago
I feel like some people just can’t accept the ending, but personally I think the book was alright. It definitely wasn’t worth 5 stars because I just didn't love the way the story played out. I would recommend this book, the topic just wasn’t right for me. I wouldn’t have picked it up if I wasn’t told to read it, but since I did I enjoyed it.
middlemedia2 on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Very good book about a boy who mocks the national anthem. He comes across as a "hero" but he knows why he truly did it. Has the entire Star Spangled Banner in the back. Good read.
kdangleis on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Nothing But The Truth, a Newberry Honor book by AVI, is a realistic fiction book about an arrogant ninth grade teenager who blames his ineligibility for the school track team on his English teacher. What ensues is a false story about Phillip being kicked out of his English class for singing the National Anthem. Mrs. Narwin kick¿s Phillip out of her class for being disrespectful during the playing of the National Anthem, and is kicked out of class on three different occasions because Phillip continues to be disrespectful in order to prove a point to his English teacher. A sly school board candidate uses the story to benefit his campaign in a newspaper article, and the local story gains national attention. As a result, the best English teacher is asked to take a leave of absence, Phillip is so alienated from his peers that he ends up in private school, and it is discovered he doesn¿t even know the words to the National Anthem. Every high schooler, or even jr. higher, can relate to having a teacher who is tough on them. In true fashion, this toughness may be misconstrued by the student to mean the teacher is out to get the student. AVI does an excellent job portraying the truth in this documentary novel. Phillip is obviously a self-absorbed teen, who won¿t take any of the responsibility for his troubles. His true character is revealed and his shame is made evident, however, by the end of the book. The students around him see Phillip for what he is and what he has done, causing the reader to reflect on how self-pity and self-absorbtion can get one into trouble. Refusing to take responsibility is a chronic problem in today¿s society, as it always has been a difficult pill to swallow. It is much easier to blame someone else for one¿s problems rather than looking inward, and accepting the consequences for one¿s own actions. In Phillip¿s cases, however, he seems to create more problems for himself instead of gaining his spot on the track team.
ChristianR on LibraryThing 29 days ago
At first I thought the story didn't ring true (the initial diary page from the main character, Philip Malloy, was just a tool to set up the story and nothing like this 15-year-old boy would write in a diary, and he's not the type of kid who would write in a diary anyway) but I'm glad I stuck with the book. Even though the book has become dated (memos rather than emails, no cell phones or texting) the main message felt very current. Philip is looking forward to running track, but does not enjoy English class and so acts like a smart alec in class. Because his grade is low in English, he's told by the track coach that he can't try out, even though he was expected to be a star. Furthermore, when homerooms get swapped mid-year, he moves from a teacher who loves to joke around to his more serious English teacher. When the morning announcements are read and the National Anthem is played, he hums along (to be funny). His former homeroom teacher encouraged funny behavior, but the new teacher thinks he is being disrespectful. His parents, who don't know the full story, think he is singing out of patriotism and are enraged that he is being told not to sing and encourage him to continue. From there, things spiral out of control. He is suspended, the story is picked up and becomes national news, and radio hosts enflame the issue. Soon the teacher and the school are receiving nasty telegrams accusing them of being unpatriotic. Everyone is unhappy, but no one sees what happened in its entirety.This makes a great point about how people frequently self-righteously jump on the bandwagon of an issue based on just a few one-sided facts, and how this tendency enables things to get out of control. I particularly liked that the book did not end with a tidy and satisfying wrap-up, but has long-lasting negative consequences. I hope students read this and learn to be more probing when they hear news bites.
liisa22 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
great for pre-teens!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Nothing but the Truth by Avi is a very well-written and realistic book. The main character Philip Malloy is a student at Harrison High School. He has one passion and one passion only, to run track. Throughout the book, Philip must balance school with track but his lack of interest in language arts starts coming up to bite him as he is unable to play track. Through it all, Philip tries to get through the year with whatever passion for track he still has left. This realistic fiction novel lives up to its name as it is very realistic. It is easy to into the book as if you are really there. The life and story of Philip Malloy is very relatable to people in the world today because even if you have a passion, Philip shows that school is still important. The positives of this book are certainly how Philip lives a common life many people live and by the end, he leads by example. Although this novel is very impressive, I believe a negative to take out of it is Philip doesn’t persevere through academics like you’d think he would. I think he somewhat avoided his problem. This interesting, realistic, and truthful book teaches us that not everything we think is important is important at all and the real treasure is realism and education. -Kyle
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
glenny52709 More than 1 year ago
In the book Nothing But the Truth by Avi, readers get the unique experience of viewing all sides to a situation without bias. By the end of the book, it is up to readers to decide who is telling the "truth". Questions about what the truth truly is and if it even exists make great discussion questions. It is not an easy decision written in black and white to decide who is being truthful, but Avi leaves it up to us to decide for ourselves. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages!
Marlen_FUENTEZZZZ More than 1 year ago
I disagree with ALL the positive comments. I  do not think the book was all that great, nor do i think that it was hilarious. I did not learn anything about telling lies that i already didnt know. I would not recommend this book to somebody that doesnt have  to read it. Overall  the  way the story was written was  understandable, i got everybodys point of view..
brock-theriot More than 1 year ago
I disagree with the negative comments on Nothing But the Truth, because overall the book was very good. The plot was very straight forward, it stayed on topic. The format of the book makes the reading interesting because it allows you to understand more about whats going on in the story. In my opinion i really did enjoy the book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a quick and enjoyable read.
TraNayeBrooks More than 1 year ago
I disagree with the negative comments. I find the book to be enjoyable. Nothing But The Truth is not boring at all! Many events happen to keep you interested. The books ending was at all what anyone expected. Which i think is great because it was not a generic ending like some book endings . The author is very original with his way of writing. 
Alexis_Bernard More than 1 year ago
I disagree with Sherlock_Holmes.  I feel Nothing But The Truth was a very interesting story about how speaking up for self can have positive and negative consequences  Not everyone will agree with what you believe in but you still have to stand up for yourself.  Nothing But The Truth has plenty to offer to teenage readers by showing them that media can sometimes mix our views of situations by blowing them out of portions. I would recommend Nothing But The Truth to anyone young and old interested in reading about a boy standing up for his rights and a teacher is put on the wrong side of the situation by the media.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. it really isnt something i would nomally read but i loved the text style and the plot. it was hilarious and just couldnt put it down. you should definately read this book. or any or book by Avi. <3 <3 <3 <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worse book.  This book is horrible don't even waist you time.  Book is boring and nothing happens.  I feel bad for the children who are forced to read this.   
zissa122 More than 1 year ago
Nothing But the Truth was pretty good… for a school mandatory book. I was kind of frustrated with the writing style. It was different, but not necessarily a good OR bad different. It was an interesting read. DEFINITELY not something I would choose to read, but it was good. I REALLY liked the ending. I could NOT STOP LAUGHING!  I felt like there wasn't even a aware going on between Phillip and Miss Narwin. Phillip was just mad that he couldn't be on the track team. He didn't ASK to be interviewed or anything. His parents made a big deal, which made EVERYONE think it was a big deal. I felt bad for both Phillip and Miss Narwin at the end because Phillip's classmates hated him, and Miss Narwin resigned.  Overall, Nothing But the Truth was very humorous and yet still showed a point. I really liked it, which surprised me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nothing but the truth is a book about this boy names Philip Malloy . He is in junior high and has problems with his English teacher. He always has problems with her and always will.  The main point of this book is that Philip thinks his English teacher Miss Narwin has it out for him and hates him.  She yells at him because he hums/sings the pledge and your not suppose to its suppose to be quiet during that time.   This is a very good book. But yes I think it’s a stupid reason for him to get in all the trouble he does because it’s a stupid reason. That may be his religion is to sing it every morning not just be quiet bout it. I would say you should read this book.   nothing but the truth is a really good book, I would say you should read it because you would probably like it . But the main pint is to say how he gets in trouble and not to be a bad kid and listen in school 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing but the Truth by AVI is an excellent fictional book that would appeal to teenagers everywhere. It is about a ninth grader, Phillip Malloy, who wants to go out for track but is unable to because of his barely passing grade in his English class. Thinking that Miss Narwin is out to get him, he creates a disturbance by humming while the national anthem is playing. Things become out of hand when Phillip tells a reporter what happened, and winds up making his teacher the bad guy when it was really Phillip’s fault. The author’s purpose in writing this book is to show people that a little lie can go a long way. This book will appeal to most young adults because it is talking about a kid around their age group. This book, in my opinion, is quite interesting and keeps you guessing about what will happen next through the whole book. I would recommend this book to a lot of young readers out there.