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On My Honor

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3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,017 Ratings  ·  510 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published September 22nd 1986 by Clarion Books
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Aishiri He was planning to tell him the truth,but when he looked at the look his father gave him, he decided to tell a lie. But police officers found Tony's…moreHe was planning to tell him the truth,but when he looked at the look his father gave him, he decided to tell a lie. But police officers found Tony's body in bottom of the lake.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wordsmith Johnson
"On My Honor" was always a kids' book that was personal to me. The author, Marion Dane Bauer, was raised in the same small town as my mother; Oglesby, Illinois. The events in the book are based on an actual young boy's drowning that took place when my mother and the author were both children. I grew up playing around the Vermillion River, the same river that is responsible for the life-changing events and eventual coming of age focused on in this very deep book about pain and growing up. It is p ...more
Megan
Nov 05, 2011 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read it when I was younger, tried again, not worth my time. Why did this get an award anyways? If you can summarize the general plot of a book in 2-3 simple sentences, it doesn't sound worth publishing. Or reading. Or an award, for that matter.

*SPOILERS*
Plot:
Two kids decide that they want to hang out one day, and they have a race across a river. One kid can't swim, and he drowns, and the other kid has to tell his family what happened.
...
really?
That's it?
...
Why was this published?
I'm sorry, but s
...more
Nicole Stevens
"On My Honor" is an amazing story that tells the tale of regret, guilt, and the realities of life through the eyes of a young boy. Joel, a conscientious and responsible boy is constantly left frustrated by his adventurous and free-spirited best friend, Tony, but when Tony gives up his idea of dangerously scaling Starved Rock, Joel agrees to swim in the unknowingly more dangerous Vermillion River to satisfy Tony's need for adventure. After challenging Tony to swim to the sandbar in the river, Jo ...more
Philip
May 28, 2009 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Our LA teacher has some of the 7th graders read this book and he gave it to me, telling me it's a quick read. It was. I read it in about half an hour to 45 minutes.

The story revolves around 2 boys, Tony and Joel. Joel is the safe, conservative one, while Tony is a little bit rougher around the edges. Joel's father gives him some instructions as to what he's allowed to do, but he feels peer pressured to ignore them and has to deal with the consequences, whatever they may be.

Joel tried to escape b
...more
Trisha Shaw
OH GOD THIS BOOK PISSED ME OFF.

I was read this book when I was in the fifth grade and when the teacher got done reading, I thought there was more to this book, so I checked it out at my school's media center, BUT NOPE! There is nothing else to this book.

Now, the only thing saving this from getting the dreaded 1 star review is I like how it's written. It's pretty well written for elementary school students, but not quite for an 18 year old girl who read the book 8-7 years ago.

Overall, Book pisse
...more
Christine
Oct 21, 2008 Christine rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It has such detail. I couldn't wait to finish it. My school librarian read it to my 5th grade class and I liked it so much, I checked it out and finished it the next day! The HUGE accident is something so lifechanging, it's hard to believe how someone can live knowig that they did something so tragic! I would recomend this to anyone who is looking for a teriffic book to read!
Tara Higgins
Apr 17, 2016 Tara Higgins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book so much, it was horrible, I loathed going to class to read this, i read this in the 5th grade for school, I even told the ending to other people in my class, I read the ending just to get it over with, I have never done that before, the plot was such a terrible concept, I am sorry to have gone on a rant, but it had to be done. Also, it annoyed me that the boy basically killed his friend and it was his fault so he should have had the guts to tell his parents and his "supposed" f ...more
Hannah Hedges
Apr 13, 2015 Hannah Hedges rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing! The author is very detailed and every word seems to go together with the story perfectly. The two main characters are very different which makes the story interesting. The way the author wrote the book makes you want to read more every time you put the book down. Even at the end of the book it seems like there is more. The story is absolutely amazing! You can kind of tell how its going to end but then you read more and then your not so sure. I would definitely recommend th ...more
Samantha Savage
Aug 20, 2014 Samantha Savage rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a long time ago in class. It is a horrible book. Very depressing. It is about a boy who some how has to summon the courage to tell his parents that his best friend drowned.
Chastity Watts
Dec 01, 2015 Chastity Watts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marion Bauer certainly followed in the tradition of great novels. On My Honor is set in the hot summer of a small city. It explores the stress we put on ourselves to express blame and feel guilt when blamed. The biggest heartache is when you blame yourself for things that could not be prevented, or were not your fault. That is what Joel did.
The setting was the Vermillion. Tony called it Old Man River, which is a nickname for the Mississippi. Bauer described the river as “ the reddish brown wate
...more
Leslie Brevard
4th grade- 8th grades
Bauer used many emotions when writing this book, she captured the attention right in the beginning when Bauer talks about how Tony’s life is not very good how his bike is not as good as Joel’s and how Tony’s home life isn’t good either. Bauer also puts a lot of emotions when Joel turns around and can’t find Tony. He first is angry because he thinks that Tony is playing a trick and then becomes scared and worried because he realizes that something bad has happened. When Joel
...more
L11_Page
This was a very powerful read and gave me many things to think about as a parent. Joel's dad gives permission for he and his best friend, Tony, to ride their bikes to Starved Rock Park and back. Joel was sure he'd say no and is dreading the ride. Not wanting to appear scared, they leave for the park. Tony stops at the Vermillion River wanting to swim. Again, Joel agrees because he's 12, despite his warnings to Tony about the strong current, smelly water and promise to his dad to only go to the p ...more
Amanda
Mar 09, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very short book, around 85 pages, but that doesn't mean it is a light or easy read.
Two boys aged about twelve are friends trying to figure out how to spend a summer day together. Neither one of them is able to be honest with the other, or their parents, about what they want to do. This leads to resentment, dares, bravado and ultimately tragedy. It is in how the tragedy is handled rather than the tragedy itself, that gives the book its weight and complexity. I would imagine that this i
...more
Lyn Tan
Nov 23, 2011 Lyn Tan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yan Shen, Lea Tan
Recommended to Lyn by: Siew Ee Foo
The part about the drowning and Joel's emotions was very boring and long-winded. I was actually quite tempted to stop reading it but I pushed on as the book won an award. The only good part was when Joel confessed. It was very touching and tears rolled down my cheeks when I read that part.

Also, the book was short and it was mainly about what Joel thought and what he felt, so the actual action was only a teeny part of the SHORT book. I mean, that's important too, but you don't have to go on and
...more
Kellylou
Mar 21, 2010 Kellylou rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Isenhoff
Joel didn’t want to ride out to Starved Rock Bluffs, let alone climb them, but Tony wouldn’t leave him alone. He talked his dad into giving him permission, hoping the whole time that he wouldn’t succeed. But his dad said yes, and the boys set off on their bikes, and Tony stopped at the bridge over the river. Tony went into the river. And Tony never came out.

Guilt is eating Joel alive. When his parents – and when Tony’s parents – start asking questions, Joel avoids them. But he can still smell th
...more
Courtney Teeples
I can see why the book is controversial. Although it is well written and short in length, it was difficult to get through. It touches on a subject that all children should be aware of, but I would definitely recommend reading it WITH your child so that you can discuss it as you go, and not letting them read it alone.
Jocelyn
Feb 13, 2016 Jocelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was so sad!But it was a really good book.I just loved it.It was a type of book where you just needed to know what was going to happen.And it also had an easy plot to follow so you weren't confused easily.Anyways, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books about dares,best friends, and drama.It is so sad that Joel's friend died.He drowned....because of a dare...
Brayden Leach
On my honor is about two young boys, Joel and tony. It all starts on a day when Joel and tiny are home and trying to find something todo. Then tony decides they should go a climb some cliff that Ana fell off a dies from recently. Joel try's to persuade him by going swimming at the local pool. Instead tony tells Joel they'll go tomorrow and then they're off. Once they're on their way the stop at the vermilion rice and tony gets in. After he is in he pressures Joel into getting in with him. Then s ...more
Erika
Feb 09, 2014 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book!!! I used to read it to every class!
Emily
Feb 09, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Newbery Honor. Friendship and death.
Jill
Jul 07, 2013 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-honor
Incredibly moving story. Read it in an hour. I picked it up as I was partway through another Newbery Honor, Audubon--long, boring, not surprisingly difficult to find in a nearby library. This really shows that sometimes a few carefully chosen words can be more powerful than hundreds of pages of explanation. I've read all the award winning Newberys at this point and a third of the honors, and it's a mystery to me how the books are evaluated. If anyone has insight into the process, I'd love to lea ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Jun 07, 2016 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joel is a boy that tries to obey his parents, and Tony is his best friend who taunts him for that obedience. Tony is a daredevil and always wants to do things that Joel doesn't want to do, but somehow Tony always talks Joel into it. Now Tony wants to ride their bikes down to a popular, but dangerous bluff - Starved Rock in a park miles from their home. Joel is sure that his dad will say "no" to the plan, but when he says yes, with the admonishment that Joel is on his honor to go there and no whe ...more
Maura
Aug 07, 2015 Maura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, challenged
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trisha Zhou
May 26, 2015 Trisha Zhou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Young boys are forever seeking competition to be the fastest or best at doing something. Tony dared his best friend, Joel, to climb the Starved Rocks buffs with him; however, Joel thought the only reason dared him was because Tony was scared of swimming in the dangerous Vermillion River. Joel dared Tony to a swimming race in the gushing currents, and despite struggling to breathe and keep his head above water, he insisted on finishing the race and making it all the way to the sandbar. When Joel
...more
Kaitlyn Peterson
In the book On my Honor by Marion Dane Bauer, is about two 9 year old boys Joel and Tony who go on a bicycle trip to a state park with a river and bluffs. Joel lies to his dad and says that they’re going to the park. His dad doesn’t believe him so he makes him say “On your Honor” you won’t go anywhere but the park and you’ll watch out for traffic. Joel gave him his honor and they went but they didn’t go to the park. Joel lied to his dad and that outcome leads to Tony drowning in the river becau ...more
Stephanie Cobos
The book "On My Honor" is short story but it grabs your attention. I wouldn't say this is one of the best books out there but if you ever want to read a short quick story to start off the day this would be a good choice. Without spoiling the ending of the story, the story was about two bestfriends going on a not so safe bicycle trip.. The two main characters were Joel and Tony. Tony was a risk taking type of person and he wanted to take his Bestfriend Joel on his plan too. They both went to the ...more
Carol
Aug 22, 2014 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Difficult story. Read it in about an hour. Trying to read different genre's of books this one is Young Adult. I've really liked most Newberry Award stories. This really shows that sometimes a few carefully chosen words can be more powerful than hundreds of pages of explanation. "On My Honor" is a story that tells the tale of regret, guilt, and the realities of life through the eyes of a young boy. Joel, a conscientious and responsible boy is constantly left frustrated by his adventurous and free ...more
Julie
Aug 13, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer was given the Newberry Honor Medal in 1987.

It is only 90 pages and the print is comfortably sized so I thought when I bought it that it might be a good third grade read. It is a mature short story which would fit better for 6th grade boys. It has strains of both Bridge to Terabithia and Stone Fox in its serious approach to questions of power struggles in boy friendships, , release of responsibility of parental authority to children coming of age, questions about
...more
Dianna
Jun 22, 2014 Dianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book aloud to a group of 4-8th graders. When we were done reading, everyone was absolutely quiet. This group had read 15 or so other books together and this was the only selection that evoked no verbal response from anyone in the group. I wanted to find out more of what the book meant to them so I asked them to write a paper about what honor means. The majority of the students could relate to the struggle between Joel and Tony.

Tony is a daredevil, attention and adventure seeking yout
...more
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Marion Dane Bauer is the author of more than eighty books for young people, ranging from novelty and picture books through early readers, both fiction and nonfiction, books on writing, and middle-grade and young-adult novels. She has won numerous awards, including several Minnesota Book Awards, a Jane Addams Peace Association Award for RAIN OF FIRE, an American Library Association Newbery Honor Aw ...more
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