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On My Honor Paperback – Aug. 7 2012
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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.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Clarion Books; Reissue edition (Aug. 7 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 96 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0547722400
- ISBN-13 : 978-0547722405
- Item weight : 90.7 g
- Dimensions : 13.02 x 0.61 x 19.37 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #279,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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Marion Dane Bauer is a great author. Her characters are rich and personable. Readers quickly fall in with the protagonist, Joel, a bright boy with a strong conscience. Joel is the source of approval for many, including his best friend Tony. As Bauer writes, it becomes apparent, that the only commonality between the two friends is the fact that they were nearly the same age and lived across the street from each other.
Bauer wastes no time presenting the conflict. Joel struggles to stand firm in his beliefs against Tony's taunting dares and flamboyant disregard for safety. Joel quickly realizes after tragedy strikes that even his faith in his father's good judgement isn't enough. When Tony dies, nothing can comfort Joel, who makes a rash decision to disregard his own conscience.
I appreciate the way the author emphasizes the role parents play in teaching their children responsibility and the joint effort necessary in sharing guilt when misplaced responsibility backfires. Joel's father, does his best to comfort Joel, and even shares the responsibility for Joel's guilt. As a teacher, I meet many parents who are unwilling to take responsibility for their children's actions, decisions, and mistakes. This book points out the importance and role parents must play in the lives of their children.
I really got wrapped up in this story. I was however very disppointed in the ending. Joel spends the majority of the novel struggling with guilt. In an effort to absolve himself from responsibility Joel weaves a series of painful lies that affect both families deeply. Bauer never really resolves this. When the truth comes out, Joel runs from the consequences. Though he may never escape the impact his decisions have on himself, there is no resolution for Joel's responsibility to Tony's family. The pain that both families must face will take time to heal and will have a lasting impact on all readers.
I was also disappointed in Bauers disregard for spiritual comfort. She brings up the ideas of God, Heaven and afterlife, only to disregard them. This probably reflects Bauer's own beliefs, however, and must be recognized as such.
"Do you believe in Heaven?" (Joel) asked at last. "Do you believe Tony's gone there?"
His father bent toward him. "If there is a heaven, I'm sure Tony's gone there," he replied. "I can't imagine a heaven that could be closed to charming reckless boys."
If! Joel felt as he were sinking through the bed. "What do you mean...if there's a heaven?"
"I dont suppose anybody knows...."
Christian readers will find little comfort, and even less familiarity in this novel.
I recommend this book to anyone who appreciates a very dramatic read. It is also a good book that addresses guilt, lying, death and responsibility. Joel's struggle represents the struggle all preteens face when compromising the responsibilities and confidence their parents have placed in them.
On My Honor was a really short book. We read it in class and did homework over it. This is my summary of the book: Tony and Joel were friends, something happened and Joel hid a secret, and, at the end, he finally told the police, after lying to them.
The reasons I didn't like this book were because of the unintelligent things Joel did. He lied to a bunch of people and even the police until finally, he told. Now, don't you think it just would've been easier to tell the truth in the first place? It's easy for me to say since I've never experienced anything like Joel did. But, if I was in the same situation as Joel, and the information was the same, I would have told because it wasn't something little he was hiding.
I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Top reviews from other countries
This may be a children’s book but there is a deep message concerning unintentional consequences.
I think it gave my grandson a deeper understandingly of what it means to give your word, On Your Honor!