Nothing But the Truth
by Avi, Orchard.
Honor Book 1992
Activities 2002 Nancy Polette

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FACT: Ninth grader Philip Malloy hums along with the daily tape of "The Star-Spangled Banner" when it's played in homeroom.

FACT: Margaret Narwin, teacher of English, sends Philip to the vice principal's office for breaking a faculty rule that requires students at Harrison High School to stand at "respectful, silent attention" during playing of the national anthem.

Then why - and how - does the student's version of the incident differ from the teacher's version? The question is crucial because Philip is suspended from school. Indeed, students, teachers, parents, school officials - even the national media - soon become caught up in charges and countercharges regarding respect, freedom, and patriotism. But what are the motives that propel these individuals into a crisis that so quickly spirals beyond their control?

In this remarkable novel, facts, people, actions, and reactions are presented in stark documentary style. The truth - and nothing but the truth - can be discovered by only one person: the reader.
ACTIVITY ONE: The National Anthem
Test your knowledge of the National Anthem by marking these statements true or false.
1. The National Anthem was written during the Revolutionary War ._______
2. Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem on the back of a letter he had in his pocket.________
3. The American flag that was "still there" flew from Fort Mc Henry.______
4. Key began the poem on a ship and finished it in his hotel room._______
5. The first title of the National Anthem was "Defence of Fort M'Henry."
6. Two of the first copies to be printed survive today.________
7. The poem was printed in a newspaper for the first time in 1814.______
8. The tune the poem was set to was "Anacreon in Heaven."________
Support or deny your guesses by reading: THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, illustrated by Peter Spier. Doubleday, 1973, or other books about the National Anthem.
Activity: What is Patriotism?

It was against the school rules to hum along during the daily playing of the National Anthem, but Philip did it anyway and trouble followed!

After reading Nothing But the Truth, do you feel Philip was respectful and patriotic? Give a definition of definition of patriotism before you answer.



For many years a United Airlines flight attendant wore a small American flag pin on her uniform as a sign of her patriotism. A new San Francisco supervisor, a retired Air Force officer, told her the pin had to go because it violated the airline's dress code. Ms. Miller, who has flown with troops on special tours to Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, contacted her union to protest. She also began handing out American flag pins to fellow flight attendants. "It's terrible," she told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's just not very American as far as I'm concerned."

The airline does ask flight attendants who speak a particular foreign language to wear identifying pins. Just not the American flag.

Mary Jo Holland, a United spokeswoman in Chicago, said the airline insists that employees adhere to basic standards. "There is some uniqueness of style allowed for flight attendants, but a uniform is a uniform and must be consistent across the board," Ms. Holland said.

Have a class debate.
Should Ms. Holland be allowed to wear her pin?
How is her situation like Philip's?