Did Ms. Narwin, in Avi's Nothing But the Truth, truly say that Phil had to "put down the things she thinks" when answering questions?

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kathik | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In Nothing But the Truth by Avi, Philip writes in his diary that Ms. Narwin wants him to "put down the things she thinks" in class. He is upset and angry that he received a low grade on his Call of the Wild test. The truth is that he did not even finish reading the book because he thought it was too boring, and his test shows his ignorance about the story. He tries to get by with making up silly answers, thinking that if he can make Ms. Narwin laugh, she will give him credit. Ms. Narwin writes on his test,

"Philip, this is an unacceptable response. The Call of the Wild is an acknowledged masterpiece of American literature.  You are not required to like it. You--along with your fellow students--are required to give it your respectful, thoughtful attention. In short, you are being asked to be more than lazy in your thinking." (Avi 13)

Philip wants to twist the truth, so that he can blame Ms. Narwin for his own failure. Ms. Narwin never said he should just parrot her words and thoughts on the test.

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