On My Honor;  Marion Dane Bauer 

Publisher:  Clarion Books, 1986;  Awarded:  1989.

Synopsis:  On his honor, Joel promises not to go to the Vermillion River.  He does, however, and his friend, Tony, disappears below the water.  Joel struggles with who to tell and what to tell them.  Will he remain quiet or share the information that will lead to Tony?

Themes:  death, honesty, friendship, peer pressure.

Author Information:  http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers/guides/onmy.html/#teach

Discussion Questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3.

1. How could Joel have better dealt with Tony's pressure to go on the trip?

2. This book shows that keeping silent can hurt people.  Can you think of other examples of situations where keeping silent could hurt others?

3. What does swearing "on your honor" mean?


1. Using the description given in chapters one and two, have readers create a map of the route Joel and Tony took to the Vermillion River.  Standard 5, Benchmark 3.

2. Research oaths people swear to uphold.  Examples can include the president of the United States, military personnel, doctors, lawyers, boy and girl scouts.  Standard 1, Benchmark 5.

3. In the novel the Vermillion River is very polluted.  Investigate the records of local bodies of water or perform a pollution science experiment.  Standard 3, Benchmark 2.