Nothing But The Truth Novel Information
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Reading Log

Pages 1-26

Meet Miss Narwin and Philip; he doesn’t like her class and she thinks he has a lot of potential; announcement rules; he changes HR’s, bad grade on English exam – can’t try out for track, her fault not his; Narwin asks for $ for a class to improve her teaching, too late – given to  band teacher; Seymour worried about budget; Phil talks to Allison; Jamison says no pass, no play, you need to go along to get along

Words to know: in his stead (in his place), front of the line (best, most important), flinty-faced (look like stone), middling (average), carpe diem (seize the day), facilitate (speed up,make easier), entice (tempt, lure), beneficiaries (people who benefit from something), tuition (money for classes), municipal (local gov’t.), to the bone (bare minimum, least amount needed), blunt (to the point,straightforward), particulars (specifics, details), electorate (group of voters), spring for (pay for), allocate

 (divide up, give to different areas)

Pages 27- 58

Philip’s parents get his grades; dad doesn’t think it is a serious problem, he doesn’t like to read either; says he is just a kid and kids do what they want to do; Philip doesn’t tell his parents the real reason he didn’t try out for track; Philip goofs off in homeroom to try and get his class changed; moody on bus – Allison losing interest; tells parents teacher hates him, won’t let him sing/hum along to SSB in class; dad tells him he supports him and to stand up for his rights; Miss Narwin talks to other teachers about SSB rules –others beat around the bush (no direct answer); Malloy family seems to have a lack of communication, poor listening skills


Words to know: pell mell (every which way); bedlam (chaos); vigilant (on guard, watchful); bickering (arguing); “bread and circus”- all about the money and looking good; “death warmed over” – depressed, sad, pale, tired, worn-out


 Pages 58 –80

Philip tells parents Narwin hates him, won’t let him sing the SSB in class; really he is acting up in class to get changed, not to be patriotic; Philip acts up in HR again (second time), gets sent to the vice principal Palleni; Palleni doesn’t see Philip’s offense as serious, he has worse problems, Philip beats around the bush with his answers; his is just breaking a rule and being disruptive in class; he tells him to follow the rules that that he’ll talk to the teacher to get her side of the story; Philip’s dad as a run-in with his boss over a job he messed up but just takes the blame – sometimes you have to be responsible even when it isn’t directly your fault; sometimes your individual rights don’t count; Dr. Doane tells Narwin she is their best English teacher and her students score higher on standardized tests than all other classes; Narwin feels lucky her principal supports her; Phil feels lucky his parents support him; he gets in trouble again in HR, sent to the office a second time (2 infractions in one week = suspension); Palleni tells Phil if he will apologize to Narwin he will forget the whole thing, nothing on his record, otherwise he is calling his parents and it’s suspension; Palleni talks to Narwin, she suggests changing HR’s, feels suspension would be counterproductive (make the situation worse not better) but Palleni says nothing will happen unless Philip apologizes; he refuses; Palleni calls his mom, beats around the bush, and tells her to come in to get Philip.

Words to know: insolence (rudeness, nonsense, stubbornness), bucks me up (makes me happy, feel better), in his bad books (on his bad side, where he’ll keep a list of wrongs against me), infraction (breaking a rule), bygones be bygones (forget the past, let it go), level with (be honest, upfront with), took a licking (got beat up)

Pages 80 – 97

Palleni talks with Philip and Mrs. Malloy; he is never really clear so Mrs. Malloy never really knows why Phil is in trouble – Palleni says he broke a rule, disrupting the class and Phil says it isn’t against the rules to sing the SSB. Palleni sends out a memo changing Philip’s HR as of the following Tuesday; sends memos to Narwin, Lunser, and Doane telling them what they need to know about the incident; we find out from Ken that Philip was singing badly and loudly, disrupting the class, other kids were cracking up and laughing and he was trying to get Allison’s attention; other students call Phil to get his side and are surprised Miss Narwin would be part of a suspension; everyone likes her but Philip; Miss Narwin plans to have a heart to heart talk with Philip when he returns; Phil talks to his parents about what happened and they want to talk with Ted Griffen next door thinking he can help; they aren’t getting the whole true story – was the vice principal,not the principal, and it wasn’t Narwin that suspended him; and it was for disrupting the class – not for singing the SSB.

Words to know: intrigues – gets your attention or interest; fad – short lived trend or style; arbitrary – shouldn’t matter or apply, not related to this issue

Pages 97 – 121

Philip talks with Jennifer Stewart,the reporter, about the incident at school at Ted Griffen’s house. All say he was suspended for singing the SSB. Jennifer calls school to get other side of story: Seymour says no rule against singing the SSB, Doane was unaware of the incident and referred her to Palleni, Palleni said no comment but that her facts were wrong, Narwin admits to sending him out but tells her to talk to principal and doesn’t give her any other information. Phil gets the HR change memo Sat. morning and he and his mom assume the school admits they were wrong and Philip was right and that they only forgot to change his English class as well. The story comes out in the Sunday paper – Seymour sees it and calls Doane – tells him it isn’t a big deal – she’d talked to Palleni and it was taken care of. The article printed is full of errors and doesn’t tell the true story.

Errors so far in the story: Marwin or Narwin; talked to Asst. Princ. not Principal; teacher doesn’t hate him and the kids like her; good teacher not bad one; no rule against singing the SSB; 9th grader not 10th grader; wasn’t suspended for singing the SSB.

Words to know: shoo-in – guaranteed to win; condone – not approve of or support; hit the fan – the situation will get worse, come to a climax

Pages 121-135

The article is printed in the Sunday paper; Dr.Seymour calls Dr. Doane about it but they both think it will amount to nothing; Ken calls Phil and says it isn’t true, but it’s funny; Philip’s parents feel important and glad their son stood up for himself. The story goes out on the AP wire (a service that sells stories to newspapers from reporters around the world for a fee – they can then use whichever stories however they want) The story is now in newspapers across the country and featured on Jake Barlow’s Talk Radio show. The callers feel Miss Narwin should be fired, that they would take their kids out of school if she were their teacher, school should support patriotism. The story is slanted (one sided, not all the information) Gloria Harland, the school board chairman calls Seymour to find out the story; he calls Doane to tell her to write a statement he can give about the truth. Ted Griffen meanwhile is using Phil's story to promote his campaign for school board.

Words to know: gripe – makes mad,upset; half-cocked – go off with only part of the story

pages 136-173

Dr. Doane gets a call from a reporter (Robert Duval) out of St. Louis Dispatch that ran the story in his paper and wants to get the other side of the story. Story continues to build on the radio - Jake tells listeners to starting sending Miss Narwin mail, starts a letter campaign. Dr. Doane talks with Narwin and Palleni to get the whole true story and then talks to some students as well. The students don't really give her the whole story, but enough to suggest there was a problem. Palleni writes the first memo about the incident and it changes as each person (Doane, Seymour) adds what they want to make it sound so they aren't responsible. At this point, they are trying to put the blame on Philip, and off of the school.

Telegrams start coming in to Narwin, Philip and Dr. Doane from patriotic groups around the country. Philip is worried about going back to school because of what the other kids might say. Dr. Seymour talks with Dr. Doane now that the situation has escalated (gotten worse) and gotten out of control on how to handle it. They can't blame Philip now because the press loves him, so he wants to see Miss Narwin's file to see if he can find some dirt on her to maybe help blame her for the situation. (She will become their scapegoat.)

Philp's dad continues to use track analogies to talk with his son and offer advice. His parents are excited to see the story going so big because it makes them feel important.

Words to know: American Legion - group of/club for veterans; Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club - groups of local businesses that meet to talk about their community; raucous - rude, loud, disrespectful; emphatic - feel strongly about something or emotional over it; scapegoat - the person that ends up with the blame in a situation instead of the others; albeit - though; animosity - deep hatred or loathing

pages 174 - end
The kids tease Philip when he returns to school so he decides he isn't going back. Miss Narwin also calls in to take the day off. She finally talks to Mr. Duval and gives him her side of the story. The school budget doesn't pass but Griffen does get elected to the school board. Miss Narwin gets offered: the rest of the term off, money to take the class she wanted, full pay, no effect on her pension, like a sabbatical; she would return in the fall ready to teach again and the story would have been forgotten by then; they can't fire her because she has tenure, but it looks as if they are offering her things to get her to resign or to put the blame on her. Seymour takes a sentence out of context in a letter she wrote to make it look like she is a bad teacher and gave it to Griffen to use in his speech. Coach Jamison seems to be the only person supporting Narwin at the school and tells Philip he really "did a number" on her and he should have followed the rules.

Philip ends up at Washington Academy, a private school, where there is no track team. They find out he doesn't even know the words to the SSB. He loses everything all because he wouldn't just do a little work to pass a class and ruins a teacher's career. Miss Narwin goes to FL to be with her sister and is still thinking of resigning. Mr. Duval doesn't get Miss Narwin's story in the paper because other more important stories came up.

Words to know: tenure - when you have worked with a school or company for 10 or more years, they can't fire you; pension - retirement plan; sabbitical - paid time off usually to pursue further education and then your job is waiting when you return; expedite - speed up the process; animosity - deep hatred or loathing of someone or thing.

* be sure you can define and understand all the words to know
4/20: bonus question: What word does Miss Narwin use to describe Philip as a studen?

Nothing But The Truth Information I Need To Know!


1. Philip Malloy - 9th grade student, class clown, wants to be in the Olympics, runs track

2. Miss Narwin - 9th grade English teacher, 21 yrs., dedicated, loves her job, Peg or Margaret

3. Dr. Joseph Palleni - vice principal at Harrison High School; in charge of discipline

4. Dr. Gertrude Doane - principal at Harrison HS, former student of Miss Narwin

5. Mr. and Mrs. Malloy – Philip’s parents; supportive of him, not great communicators

6. Mr. Ted Griffin - neighbor of the Malloys; running for a seat on the school board

7. Allison Doresett – girl that likes Philip at school

8. Ms. Jennifer Stewart - reporter for the local newspaper, The Manchester Record

9. Mr. Robert Duval - a reporter for the St. Louis Dispatch (Missouri) who is trying to get the other side of the story

10. Dr. Seymour – school superintendent; responsible for all schools in the area and the budget

11. Mr. Bernie Lunser – Philip’s HR teacher, laid back, jokester, doesn’t take school too seriously

Conflicts/Problems to know between:

1. Philip and his parents - a lack of communication

2. Philip and Miss Narwin - dislike of the class and the teacher

3. Philip and Dr. Palleni - no clear communication on the problem or how serious it was; what he really wanted

4. Miss Narwin and Dr. Doane - who to support, the teacher or the school system/administration

5. Miss Narwin and Dr. Seymour - who to blame for the incident; what's important at school,- the show or education

6. Philip and Allison - unable to connect on any level

Setting: Harrison, New Hampshire, Harrison High School

Examples of Irony in the story:

1. Miss Narwin is the best teacher at the school and yet b/c of the article, everyone wants her fired.

2.  The story was about Philip's right to sing the SSB and he doesn't even know the words.

3. Narwin was made out to be the scapegoat so the budget could pass and no one even came out to vote for it.

4. Dr. Doane, a former student of Narwin, was part of the group that was against her in the end.

5. Once Miss Narwin finally decided to get her story out, it was pushed aside for other breaking news.

6. All Philip wanted to do was be on the track team and his new school doesn't even have a team.

Themes or Messages presented in the story or that you can learn from?

1. Make sure you have all the facts, both sides of the story, before you make a judgment or decision

2. What goes around goes around - do unto others as you would have them do unto you

3. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill - don't let a small situation snowball into a huge unrevelant incident

4. When you are in the right, stand up for yourself and what you believe - don't count on others to do it for you

5. Take responsibility for your actions and face the possible consequences

What happens in the end to...

1. Miss Narwin - goes to FL to be with her sister; still thinking about resigning

2. Philip - goes to a private school; no track team, loses his friends, spends his college money, no Allison; doesn't know the words; more teasing

3. Ted Griffin - wins a seat on the school board

4. Dr. Seymour - doesn't get the budget passed

5. Dr. Doane - loses a good teacher and the respect and trust of Miss Narwin

6. Mr. and Mrs. Malloy - spend Phil's college money

7. Dr. Palleni - never held responsible for anything that went wrong, though he was a big part of

 8. Allison - forgets Phil; mad at him for his treatment of Narwin; she and Todd  start a petition

 9. Mr. Duval - never prints Narwin's side of the story


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