| Quote #1
To the district superintendent of schools, she gave a bad answer, but she did that only once, only to him, and if that answer was not good, her reason for giving it was. (1.1)
What's important here is not whether Mrs. Olinski's answer was "bad" (it was), but that her reason for giving it was "good." The reasoning is more important than the actual answer. (Don't try that on your next math test.)
| Quote #2
After choosing a nib Tillie said, "I hope in the future, Noah, that you will use a ballpoint pen only when you have to press hard to make multiple carbons."
I couldn't promise that. There were times in school when a person had to do things fast, cheap, and without character.
Tillie said, "There are pens that come with ink in a cartridge, Noah, but I will have nothing to do with them." ("Noah Writes a B & B Letter".22-24)
Well, you have to have principles about something. Might as well be your pen.
| Quote #3
I controlled my voice so that it would not quiver. I said, "You should have told me that. You should have told me long before now. A person with good manners would have." ("Nadia Tells of Turtle Love".110-111)
Nadia accuses Ethan of not having "good manners." For her, "good manners" aren't about writing B & B letters but about principals.