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Ninth grader Philip Malloy is forbidden to join the track team because of his failing grades in English class. Convinced that the teacher just doesn't like him, Philip concocts a plan to get transferred into a different homeroom. Instead of standing silently during the national anthem, he hums along. And ends up on trial.
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Avi, who goes by the name his twin sister gave him when they were about one year old, is the author of more than 30 books and winner of more than 90 awards, including the Newbery Medal and two Newbery Honors. His work spans many genres - historical fiction, coming-of-age, comedy, mystery, and fantasy. A former librarian and father of three grown sons, Avi was raised in Brooklyn and now lives in Denver, Colorado. For more information about Avi, visit: avi-writer.com and scholastic.com/tradebooksFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 6-9-- Ninth grader Philip Malloy finds himself unable to participate on the track team because of his failing grade in English. Convinced the teacher, Margaret Narwin, dislikes him, he concocts a scheme to get transferred from her homeroom: instead of standing "at respectful, silent attention" during the national anthem, Philip hums. Throughout the ensuing disciplinary problems at school, his parents take his side, ignore the fact that he is breaking a school rule, and concentrate on issues of patriotism. The conflict between Philip and his school escalates, and he quickly finds the situation out of his control; local community leaders, as well as the national news media, become involved. At this point, the novel surges forward to a heartbreaking, but totally believable, conclusion. Avi carefully sets forth the events in the story, advancing the plot through conversations between students, Philip's parents, school personnel, and community politicians, while Philip's point of view is revealed through his diary entries, and Margaret Narwin's through letters to her sister. Also enriching the narrative are copies of school memos and newspaper articles, transcripts of speeches delivered, and copies of letters received by both Philip and his teacher; each document provides another perspective on the conflict and illuminates the many themes that beg to be discussed--most notably the irony of lives destroyed because of the misuse of power and the failure of people to communicate. Admirably well crafted and thought provoking. --Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, CT
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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