On My Honor

On My Honor

4.2 117
by Marion Dane Bauer, Dolores Kozielski
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Joel's best friend Tony drowns while they are swimming in the forbidden, treacherous Vermilion River. Joel is terrified at having to tell of his disobedience and overwhelmed by his feelings of guilt. "A powerful, soul-stirring novel told simply and well." -- Booklist, starred review See more details below

Overview

Joel's best friend Tony drowns while they are swimming in the forbidden, treacherous Vermilion River. Joel is terrified at having to tell of his disobedience and overwhelmed by his feelings of guilt. "A powerful, soul-stirring novel told simply and well." -- Booklist, starred review

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a devastating but beautifully written story of a boy's all-consuming guilt over the role he plays in the death of his best friend. Joel and Tony have been together since they were babies. Although Tony's crazy jokes and wildness sometimes make Joel feel as if he were much older, and even make Joel angry, no one is as exciting as Tony. But when Tony suggests they climb the bluffs at Starved Rock, Joel is frightened, knowing how dangerous the bluffs are. He's also afraid of Tony's sharp tongue, though, so he asks his father for permission to ride his bike to Starved Rock, certain that his father will say no. When his father says yes, Joel finds himself riding Tony's old, beat-up bikewhile Tony coasts along on Joel's 10-speedout to the state park. Halfway there the boys cross the Vermillion River, and Tony, who earlier had refused to go swimming at the pool with Joel, decides to swim in the river instead. Angry at Tony's lack of sensethe river is both dangerous and dirty Joel dares Tony to race out to a distant sandbar with him. Then the unthinkable occurs: Joel reaches the sandbar; Tony disappears. The realization slams into Joel with its hideous finality. Tony is dead, and it is all his fault. Joel's efforts to cope with his staggering sense of guilt are handled with stark reality, so that the reader shares his sense of the enormity of life's unfairness. Yet within Joel's first perception of the total uncertainties of life, there is also the steadfastness of his father's love. While there is death, there is also love, and Bauer's honest and gripping novel joins the ranks of such as Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia in its handling of these issues. (9-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 Twelve-year-old Joel has unwillingly agreed to bike out to the state park with his daredevil friend Tony. ``On his honor,'' he promises his father to be careful, knowing that Tony wants them to climb the dangerous park bluffs. When they arrive, however, Tony abruptly changes his mind and heads for the river. With his promise jangling in his mind, Joel follows Tony in for a swim. Tony drowns in the dirty, turbulent water, leaving Joel to face his guilty conscience, and his father, alone. In this short but solid novel, Bauer effectively portrays the dilemma of pre-adolescents, old enough to want to meet their own challenges without adult interference, young enough to want grownup protection and reassurance. Joel understands only too well the moral dilemma he faces, but he is so bound by peer pressure that wrong choices and tragedy are almost inevitable. Bauer's association of Joel's guilt with the smell of the polluted river on his skin is particularly noteworthy. Its miasma almost rises off the pages. Descriptions are vivid, characterization and dialogue natural, and the style taut but unforced. A powerful, moving book. Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria Public Library, Canada
From the Publisher

"A powerful, soul-stirring novel told simply and well." —Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"Descriptions are vivid, characterization and dialogue natural, and the style taut but unforced. A powerful, moving book." —School Library Journal 

"While there is death, there is also love, and Bauer's honest and gripping novel joins the ranks of such as Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia in its handling of these issues." —Publisher's Weekly

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440466338
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/28/1987
Series:
Yearling Newbery Series
Edition description:
REISSUE
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.28(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

MARION DANE BAUER has written more than 80 children's books, including picture books, easy readers, early chapter books, and novels. She won a Newbery Honor for On My Honor, a middle grade coming-of-age story. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit her website at www.mariondanebauer.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >