"Nothing But the Truth," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-4

Using journal entries, memos, letters, and dialogue, award-winning author Avi pokes fun at high school, politics, and the media. This satirical novel demonstrates that truth is always subjective.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-12, Chapters 13-15, Chapters 16-19
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Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. stead
    the place properly occupied or served by another
    The Principal, or in his stead the Assistant Principal, or in his stead a designated member of the faculty, will say, “Good morning to all students, faculty, and staff. Today is Monday (or whatever day), January (or whatever month) 3 (or whatever day).
  2. respectful
    exhibiting an attitude of admiration or esteem
    Say, “Please all rise and stand at respectful, silent attention for the playing of our national anthem.”
  3. steadfast
    marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable
    All the same, I remain steadfast in my belief that my life was meant to be the bringing of fine literature to young minds.
  4. reluctantly
    with a certain degree of unwillingness
    They come to literature reluctantly at best, fighting me every inch of the way.
  5. capacity
    capability to perform or produce
    And I like them and their capacity for independence.
  6. mock
    treat with contempt
    Now if I were to laugh or mock, he would be insulted.
  7. strive
    to exert much effort or energy
    But this Philip—an only son, by the way, which may be the problem—is only a middling student, and it’s a shame. A nice-looking boy. A boy I like. Intelligent. With real potential. Perhaps that’s why he irritates me so—for he shows no desire to strive, to make sacrifices for the betterment of self, the way we were taught.
  8. ambition
    a strong drive for success
    Worst of all, like so many of them, he exhibits no desire to learn. No ambition at all!
  9. resistance
    the action of opposing something that you disagree with
    No, it’s a certain something—a resistance—to accepting the idea that literature is important.
  10. congregation
    a group of people who habitually attend a given church
    She used to be in the West Fork Church congregation years ago.
  11. gleaming
    a flash of light
    Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
  12. perilous
    fraught with danger
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight.
  13. wit
    verbal skill that has the power to evoke laughter
    MR. LUNSER: Ah, the famous wit and wisdom of Mr. Malloy. Philip, I'm the only one allowed to make jokes around here.
  14. gallantly
    in a heroic or brave manner
    O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
  15. grateful
    feeling or showing thankfulness
    STUDENT: What about announcements?
    MR. LUNSER: Seems there aren't any, for which we can all be grateful.
  16. strategy
    an elaborate and systematic plan of action
    You have to have a strategy—know when to take it easy, know when to turn on the juice.
  17. significance
    the message that is intended or expressed
    Question four: What is the significance of Jack London's choice in making Buck, the dog in The Call of the Wild, the focus of his novel?
  18. symbolic
    serving as a visible sign for something abstract
    Is the dog meant to be symbolic? Explain your answer.
  19. portrayal
    a word picture of a person's appearance and character
    Can people learn from this portrayal of a dog? Expand on these ideas.
  20. acknowledge
    express recognition of the presence or existence of
    The Call of the Wild is an acknowledged masterpiece of American literature. You are not required to like it.

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