On My Honor
Author: Marion Dane Bauer
Page Length: 90
Reading Level: 5
PLOT SUMMARY: Joel and Tony are deciding how to spend their long summer day when Tony decides that climbing the starved rock bluffs would be fun. Joel’s terrified – people have died on those rocks. Joel would rather do something safe like swimming at the local pool, but Tony insists on an adventure. Joel decides that asking his dad will end the debate because he’s sure that his father will say no. But surprisingly Joel’s dad agrees as long as Joel promises “on his honor” to only go to the park and back. Both boys promise but as their journey gets under way, Tony stops under the bridge where there’s water. Both boys have been warned about the danger of the river. But Joel, too reluctant to stand up to Tony, and Tony, always too desperate to prove how tough he is, decide to plunge in. It’s a fateful decision that will change everything!
REVIEW: This book makes a huge impact in a very small amount of pages. There are numerous teaching moments for students to identify with. Both boys and girls would benefit from this story, but, it would especially appeal to boys who have dealt with peer pressure issues. Students will feel the devastation that occurs because of Joel’s inability to stand up for what is right – even when someone else doesn’t want to. Teachers can discuss what the actions should have been – before swimming and after. This book would lead to an excellent discussion on other mistakes such as potentially deadly peer pressure situations that can or have arisen. This is an excellent book for reaching students!
AREAS FOR TEACHING: sequence of events, cause and effect, making predictions, author’s purpose, character traits, connecting text to self
TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: drowning
RELATED BOOKS: Blue Ghost, Killing Miss Kitty, Questions of Trust, Like Mother, Like Daughter, Red Ghost, Rain of Fire
REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor