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On My Honor
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On My Honor

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  3,045 ratings  ·  405 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 (first published January 1st 1986)
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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
Philip
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
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
Megan
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
Christine
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!
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
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
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 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Love this book!!! I used to read it to every class!
Emily
Newbery Honor. Friendship and death.
Jill
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
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
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
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
Susan
Wow, a well written book about tragedy and how we deal with it. It is told from the perspective of a young teen boy who is not a risk taker with a best friend who is, then in spite of his efforts, he finds himself party to the drowning of his best friend, and feels responsible for it. Ultimately, an interesting and mostly mature handling of the responsibility. A QUICK read (less than 1 hour,) the entire story takes place in the period of one day; that's the part that seemed less likely, that he ...more
Samantha Savage
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.
Andrea
1987 Newberry Honor

Tony and Joel are best friends with very different personalities. Their decisions one summer day bring into stark light the long lasting effects of the choices we make, the relationships we have and the devastating aftermath of negative peer pressure. I like that this book address personal responsibility, guilt and moral dilemmas in a way that students in middle school grades can relate to. It is a fast read for adults and at first may seem too simple, but a bit of thinking ab
...more
Raquel
On My Honor was pretty intense for me as a kid, but that's what made it so engaging for me.
Jill Bonham
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole
I didn't really like this book cause it was too sad for me......
Maya Netto
This was an amazing book and verry interesting. I would first like to thank my teacher Mr.Zehner for reading it to our class. On My Honor is a book about a boy named Joel and his friend Tony who go out on a bicycle ride out to Staved rock. Tony wants to swim in the river then Joel dares him to swim out to the sand bare. When Tony drowns for he was not a very good swimmer Joel does not know what to do. The moral of this story is to be responsible and and tell the truth because it will be a lot ea ...more
Heather
A really touching and heartbreaking story, but it was written very well and I enjoyed it. I expected it to be sad, but while reading it, I was really wanting and hoping that somehow Joel would find Tony and everything would be okay, but whether it happened the way I wanted it to or not, the story had a powerful message. I think "On my honor" is a deep message and one to reflect on before making any decisions. I really liked that aspect and I think it helps and encourages us to tell the truth and ...more
Booknerdwatever
May 01, 2014 Booknerdwatever rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: My Worst Enemy
Not terrible, but not good. (view spoiler)

I only finished it so I can participate in the Battle of the Books school
...more
Alison
Mar 04, 2010 Alison rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 4-8th grade readers
Recommended to Alison by: Skyler
Shelves: 2010, kids-and-ya, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tabitha
Independent reading for 4th-6th grade

Bauer demands the interest of the reader by presenting a cover that details the pained expression on a young boys face as he holds his head in his hands with a river and trees looming in the background. She captures the reader’s attention in the very beginning with action and suspense through the main characters. There is a chronological fluency to the story as Joel expresses his emotion with his need to be accepted by his friend, but all the while remaining
...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
More about Marion Dane Bauer...
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