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Home > Reading Comprehension > book reviews > On My Honor

Book Review: On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer

Title, Author & Publisher:On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer (Clarion Books, New York)

Length: 117 pages without illustrations. It looks short & not intimidating, yet it's clearly an "intermediate" level book and appears on many recommended reading lists for middle school and young adults. (On one list it was on the 3rd grade reading list... I have to wonder about that place...)

Print size:Slightly bigger than 'standard', but not childish. .

Other readability issues: This is a book which focuses on character development as well as plot. On one level, it's a fairly straightforward story of honesty, risk-taking and peer pressure. At many levels, though, inferences and predictions can be made from both action and dialogue. It's a great chance to let students who are socially aware shine - and to get other students thinking about the 'meaning behind the meaning' of what people say.

This would be another excellent book to read as a class, with a fair amount of read-aloud and discussion involved. If students are able to read this independently (about a fifth grade reading level), it could be a great chance to have them read a chapter independently with a few 'guiding questions,' and have questions and discussions afterward -- it may be the first time a kid has been able to feel like it made a difference to do the independent work, and there's really a lot to discuss.

Summary: Joel gets permission from his father to ride out to Starved Rock, but he's on his honor to ride out and back and "be careful the whole way.". He knows his adventurous friend has other ideas, and the results are tragic.

The entire story takes place in very little time-- students could make a time line of important events, introducing that perhaps some of the most important 'events' weren't actions, but decisions or things people said.

Typical words: Typical multisyllable/irregular words - you may want to see how many of these words your students can identify before expecting them to read independently.

This is another book that is readily available on tape.






















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