Why did the characters have varying points of view in Nothing But the Truth by Avi?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Nothing But the Truth by Avi, the story is told by several different people, so the reader is given many different points of view. We have Philip, Miss Narwin, Dr. Palleni, Jennifer Stewart and others. Avi uses this method to show us that different people often perceive the same events very differently. We all have "our side" of the story, whatever that story may be. Philip feels persecuted by Miss Narwin, who in turn feels she is doing her job as a teacher by holding Philip accountable. The news reporter, Jennifer Stewart, picks up Philip's side of the story and runs with it, without digging very deeply for the entire story. The principal and vice principal never follow up with Miss Narwin and Philip, so things get worse for everyone.

Research shows that even two witnesses of a crime will often have a different story as to what actually happened, and that witnesses are unreliable because their perception gets in the way of the facts.  Avi does an excellent job of showing this phenomenon in his book.

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