Cover image for On my honor
Title:
On my honor
Author:
Bauer, Marion Dane.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dell Publishing, 1987.

©1986
Physical Description:
90 pages ; 20 cm.
Summary:
When his best friend drowns while they are both swimming in a treacherous river that they had promised never to go near, Joel is devastated and terrified at having to tell both sets of parents the terrible consequences of their disobedience.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
750 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.7 2.0 128.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.6 4 Quiz: 08612 Guided reading level: S.
ISBN:
9780440466338
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Anna M. Reinstein Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Reading List
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Summary

Summary

Joel dares his best friend, Tony, to a swimming race in a dangerous river. Both boys jump in, but when Joel reaches the sandbar, he finds Tony has vanished. How can he face their parents and the terrible truth?


Author Notes

Marion Dane Bauer was born in Oglesby, Illinois. She attended community college first, in her home town, and then went to the University of Missouri when she was a junior to study journalism. She quickly realized that journalism was not for her and changed her focus to the humanities and a degree in English literature. She switched one last time to focus on teaching english, which she did when she graduated college.

After her children were born, Bauer decided to try her hand at writing. She started out with a children's picture book, but discovered that youg adult novels were more to her taste. After making a career out of writing, Bauer became the first Faculty Chair at Vermont College for the only Master of Fine Arts in Writing program devoted exclusively to writing for children and young adults.

Bauer is the author of more than forty books for young people. She has won many awards, including a Jane Addams Peace Association Award for her novel Rain of Fire and an American Library Association Newbery Honor Award for On My Honor and the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for the body of her work. Her picture book My Mother is Mine was a New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A childhood dare and the idea of personal honor create a nightmare when one boy drowns and his friend must live with his conscience and grief. A 1987 Newbery Honor Book. (Jl 86)


Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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