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On My Honor

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  4,457 Ratings  ·  566 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.
Mass Market Paperback, 96 pages
Published May 12th 1997 by Laurel Leaf (first published September 26th 1986)
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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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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
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.

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.
That's it?
Why was this published?
I'm sorry, but s
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
Tara Higgins
Dec 17, 2014 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
May 21, 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
Adolfo Lopez
Aug 23, 2016 Adolfo Lopez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

On My Honor is a book about a kid named Joel and Tony. Tony is a dare devil and Joel is a calm person. Joel and Tony ride their bikes to a park. Then Tony stops at a river wanting to swim. An argument happens between Joel and Tony. Joel gets mad at Tony and challenges him to a swim race . The river they are going to swim in is dangerous and would be hard even for a pro swimmers. Care to swim with them? I gave this book a five out of five because it keeps readers wondering of what will happen nex
Oct 21, 2008 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Evelyn Mendoza
Mar 15, 2017 Evelyn Mendoza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer is an amazing book! The book talks about 2 friends, Joel and Tony. Tony is the dare devil throughout the whole story and I guess that's why the tragic event happens. Joel always wants to go swimming but Tony doesn't know how to swim and that's what Joel doesn't know, so he dares him to race to the sandbar in the filthy river. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes reading suspense books and realistic fiction because the event that occ ...more
Trisha Shaw

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
Jul 26, 2017 Coleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a short book and a short read and an excellent book for children. First thing to know is that it is sad. My granddaughter told me when I saw the book on her reading list and she told me that she had already read it, "It is sad." I told her I would read it and then we could discuss it. I did and we did.

Tony and Joel live across the street from each other and have been friends for a long time. Their families are very different but that doesn't stop them from enjoying one another's company.
Jun 10, 2017 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book can be read in one sitting, and is a super sad yet realistic tale about a cautious boy named Joel and his mischievous friend named Tony. This book is a good read aloud or book club book as it has many thematic elements: human choice, fate, family, friendship, and dealing with tragedy.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Lyn Tan
Nov 21, 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
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
Sep 20, 2016 Gwendolyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is terrible. Possibly worse than Bridge to Terabithia. Possibly. It's only saving grace is how short it is. The characters are idiots, so you don't really care about them. It isn't "sad" that a particularly odious fictional character meets his untimely demise, which he brings upon himself. And why should I care about Joel's emotional trauma? This is "relatable"? How many of us have gotten our best friend killed through sheer stupidity? (Although Tony isn't exactly the brightest blade i ...more
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
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
Mar 14, 2017 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: On My Honor
Author: Marion Dane Bauer
Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction Chapter Book
Theme(s): Accidents Fiction, Human Behavior Fiction, Youth and Death Fiction, Accidents Fiction, Friendship Fiction

Opening line/sentence: “On your honor?” Joel’s Father said.

Brief Book Summary:
12-year-old Joel and Tony have been best friends since they were little. Tony likes to live on the edge while Joel is reluctant to follow him. One day, after promising his father he would be safe, Joel accompanie
Eli B
Jan 25, 2017 Eli B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer Genre would be Realistic fiction publication date is 1986 and this is about two boys named Tony and Joel and they want to ride there bikes to starved rock but on the way Tony stops by this river that everyone says is danger this book is grate for anyone who likes realistic fiction because you oh that this could happen this book in i think appropriate for any age that can read.
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.
Feb 03, 2016 Jocelyn rated it it was amazing
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...
Nov 07, 2016 Adonica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreaking, and I felt that it was such an honest reflection of how a child would cope with this type of situation.
Ugh. I liked what the story was about, the feeling of guilt over something that you did or didn't do, but the story itself left much to be desired.
Apr 19, 2016 Aubrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Weirdest/worst/best book ever
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.
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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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