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Banned Book Review: On My Honor

April 4, 2006

79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer

Reason:  there is a ‘hell’ and a ‘damn’ in it.

A deceptively slim story, On My Honor explores the events surrounding the death of a young boy, and the role his friend played in that death.  Tony is a wild child, trying very hard to hide his fears behind a brash exterior.  Joel is the quiet doubter, with a stronger inner core.  When an afternoon of forbidden antics ends in tragedy, Joel comes face to face with the mortality of the people around him.  He feels guilty and blames himself for his friend’s death, and thus winds up lying to the police and his parents about the accident.  Eventually, the truth comes out, and the way in which Joel deals with his friends death is handled well enough, but I could have done with a little more meat to this story.  It felt very much like I had picked up the second book in a series of novellas, rather than a complete book.  Recommended for ages 9-12, but if you’re going to give it to your kid, be ready to talk about Joel’s choices.

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