Marian Dane Bauer’s excellent On My Honor tells the tale of twelve-year-old Joel, who has been best friends with Tony since the two were kids. Tony’s instinct for the exciting, dangerous edge of life has always kept Joel on his toes. When Joel asks his father’s permission to ride his bike, along with Tony, to the state park, his father ensures the boy promises “on his honor” to not engage in any hazardous activity. Tony has a different plan in place however, and the two head towards the rock bluffs, a treacherous piece of land. As they make their way to the bluffs, they pass the tumultuous Vermillion River, and Tony dares Joel to swim out to the sandbar, located on the opposing side of the river. His promise to his father ringing in his ears, Joel issues the same dare to Tony, challenging him to a race across the stream. The race’s catastrophic consequence, and the ensuing heavy guilt that weighs down Joel, adds a dark layer to the typical childhood dare, and Bauer’s tale is a powerful reminder of the potentially deadly and tragic repercussions of peer pressure.