This week I read “Nothing but the Truth” and started “Deadline”. The latter is for book club and I will finish it this week so you all have that delight to look forward to in next week’s blog. Don’t worry though cause “Nothing but the Truth” was pretty fabulous. AVI published this documentary novel and received the Newberry Honor Award for it. The coolest part, to me, was the format of the book. Instead of a prose format, the story is told through documents, as seen in the pictures.
So this first book I’ve read like this and I liked it a lot. We have Philip Malloy, a sophomore in high school who refuses to go out for track despite his well-known abilities, or so it seems. He actually wouldn’t make the team due to his D in Miss Narwin’s English class. It isn’t that Philip is a poor or struggling student, he would rather just crack smart remarks and not try – something Miss Narwin knows. He thinks she is just out to get him. Even worse, the beginning of the quarter brings new homeroom assignments, placing Philip in her classroom twice a day.
In the Harrison School District, there is a strong tradition carried out at the beginning of each day, the playing of a recording of the nation anthem over the PA system. Last quarter, Philip hum/sang along with the Star Spangled Banner, but now Miss Narwin deems it a nuisance, a distraction, and send him out of the classroom three days in a row. After his three-day streak, the assistant principal suspends him. Philip is suspended from public school for singing the national anthem. His suspension begins on a Friday and by the time he returns on Tuesday, a national article has been published, bringing in telegrams and letters to the head staff and Miss Narwin with negative comments on how unpatriotic the actions were. (I can’t tell what year it takes place due to the whole telegram in New Hampshire thing.) The article circles through the Associated Press and is highlighted nationally. The only problem is the incredibly slanted angle it was written from.
Philip does not want the attention and Miss Narwin is receiving backlash from every direction. I can’t tell you what happens after he ends up transferring schools, or how he did, but I can tell you it made me gasp out loud wish there were more pages.