What happened was this: Philip Malloy hummed along with “The Star Spangled Banner” when it was played over his school’s public address system. His homeroom teacher, Miss Narwin, sent him to the principal’s office for not standing at “respectful, silent attention” during the anthem. Philip is suspended. The resulting media circus occurs because no one, not Philip’s parents, the principal, the school superintendent, or the newspaper reporters, bother to get the whole story.
This book will leave you shaking your head at how a relatively minor infraction could be so badly mismanaged. As the truth gets more and more mangled, the novel provides a sound lesson in the importance of good public relations.
This is one story that ends badly for everyone involved. A remarkable and extraordinary book.