In Nothing But the Truth by Avi, why is Philip not on the team?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Though Philip has a lot of talent and athletic ability for track, he is not allowed to even try out for the team because his grades are not good enough. The school rules say that an athlete must have above a D in every academic class, and Philip's English grade is a D. Of course, Philip blames his teacher for his bad grade, saying that she just has no sense of humor, when the truth is that Philip has not satisfied the requirements for his English class. He does not like his teacher, Miss Narwin, and because he does not like her, he refuses to even read the assigned book. On the test on the book The Call of the Wild, Philip makes up silly answers, and when Miss Narwin calls him on it, he blames her instead of taking responsibility for himself. Miss Narwin is willing to help Philip, but he refuses to even talk to her about it.

"...I know you have the potential for good work. Your fall term work showed greater promise, though your classroom attitude leaves much to be desired. Now, Philip, if you do not bring your work up, you are in danger of failing this course. When you get your winter term grade, consider it a warning" (Avi 13).

Even with his terrible performance on the test, Miss Narwin grades it as a C-. Philip, however, continues to refuse to meet her halfway, and ends up with a D in the class.

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