On My Honor

On My Honor

4.2 117
by Marion Dane Bauer
     
 

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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.

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547534114
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/22/1986
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
242,703
File size:
245 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

What People are saying about this

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

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.

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On My Honor 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 118 reviews.
Brian123ohya More than 1 year ago
"On My Honor" By: Marion ane Bauer Joel and Tony were best friends sense they were little. This fictional book "On my Honor" by Marion Bauer is about a couple of friends wanting to have an outrageous time but when they decide to have dangerous fun that's a whole different story. Joel and Tony decided that they wanted to race in the dangerous vermillion river when Joel suddenly runs into trouble of guilt and sorrow. The main character Joel in this book "On My Honor" by Marion Bauer is a brave twelve year old boy who finds himself in many bad situations throughout this story. Joel effect's many others in this book like when he had to tell his parents the ugly truth about what they did instead of going to the park. That led to much melancholy and sorrow throughout the book from Joel and the parents. Joel looked like a boy that didn't deserve what he got and that parted haired, blue shirted, brown shoed boy thought that Tony wasn't like him at all that tony was a daredevil as he was the angel who just got burned. That kid had himself one heck of a day. Marion displayed outstanding imagery throughout this story apart from the great visualization opportunities. "If I find him sitting on the bank I'm going to kill him" Joel said tells you that Marion was trying to describe anger but hope at the same time. Marion eliminates any non juicy words and replaces them with a nice set of amazing verbs that are an easy way of visualizing. You can imagine that Marion wanted the readers to know the relationship between Joel and Tony was opposed and an unlikely pair of good friends because as you know Tony was a daredevil while Joel is explained as the nice kid. Tony many times interrogates Joel to do things he doesn't want to "come on you baby lets just do one race". "Fine". Said Joel. Tony says a thing that insults Joel and he just has to agree to stop getting criticized. Bauer also can display a various amount of amazing sorrow tone moments in this story. One of the most emotional parts of this book is when Joel has to tell the parents about what happened at the lake. "I looked for him but he went under I tried to find him" said Joel as misses Zabrinsky moaned and took a step backward". A horrible and sad moment in this heroic book. "It's your entire fault you shouldn't have let me go". Joel blurted out. Joel tried to hide his sadness with guilt and anger but those great feeling just could not be broken. I would recommend this book to readers from 10 to 20 years old because it shows many experiences that you need to watch out for and to always don't do what you do not want to do. This book had many great turning points from the beginning to the end. People who like cliffhangers should read this book. I would rate this a 9 out of 10 for its display of the amazing plot and authors craft.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Exactly how many boxes of tissues will you need? More than ten, that's for sure! On My Honor is an story that you will want to share with family and friends and will treasure forever. Joel and Tony encounter the dangourous Vermillion River. Then Joel cannot find Tony. How will he explain the news to his family? And worse...Tony's parents??? Read On My Honor to find out yourself!!!
star1021 More than 1 year ago
This was a spectualar story line and plot. All the chartaers got finished story lines by the end of the story. Most sad but heartwarming stories I've read. This one of my favorites. Hope this helps.Thanks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book and a quick read but it is really sad, so if you don't like sad book sdo not read this. But if you dont mind sad books, it is a fantastic read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need to do a book report on this and I was wondering how many pages it is ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was probably the best book I've ever read! Me, 10 year-old Caleb recommends this book to all! Only read this book if you don't care about violence, but it's a great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book totally captivated me, I felt what Joel felt. Sad,angry,and mourning I felt that I had known Tony my whole life and was heartbroken when his parents figured out his death.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 I like this book because it is talking about two friends who are disobedient but learn an important lesson.   They didn’t  listen to Mrs. Zabriskie or Joel’s dad when they were told not  to  go to Starved Rock.                                                           Then Joel doesn’t tell anyone about what happened with Tony in the park  while                                                                                     he was swimming. Next time listen to your parents because it is for your own good.  ALexMCHMS14
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need to right a book report And i havnt read the book yet What happens at the end?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We read it in our class. At the last chapter. I almost cried.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very sad I did not expect it to be that sad. My teacher told me about it and when i got to theriver part i was like okay when is it going to happen and it really suprized me. The only thing that i would if i were in that sitchuwation i would tell my parents the truth the first time. I was supprized that Joal didnt get in as much trouble as it seams
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will cry, i admit it. But you will also love this book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in my class and it is really good!!!
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