Probably best known for her Newbery Award winning book, On My Honor, local author Marion Dane Bauer has written everything from picture books through middle grade novels. Over the years, she has won other awards, including the Jane Addams Peace Association Children’s Book Award for Rain of Fire, Although she admits in her bio that the “contemporary novel for young people” are her favorites to write, she has written an equal amount of picture books.
Books by Marion Dane Bauer
Bauer has written over 100 books, more than we could list here, but you can find a list of books on her website. Interestingly, while I, after reading Bauer’s middle-grade novels, found her writing challenging and heart-wrenching, Gianna, who has spent more time with Bauer’s picture books, describes her writing as defined by “animated peace“. I think ultimately this shows Bauer’s range and depth and ability to write to her audience.
On my Honor is Bauer’s Newberry Award novel. This short book (under 100 pages) is a middle grade book. We read it in one sitting and I cried through the final chapters. I recommend grabbing a box of tissues before starting. Sensitive children may have a hard time with this book as it deals with death, guilt and responsibility, and doesn’t sugar coat or try to fully resolve those big issues. Unlike many children’s books, it doesn’t have a direct moral lesson. It’s more of a conversation starter and a way to get kids to think deeper about big issues. I found it to be a cross between The Tell Tale Heart and A Taste of Blackberries.
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