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Swear to Howdy by Wendelin Van Draanen

Swear to Howdy

by Wendelin Van Draanen

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Thank you, friend 'smalls,' for recommending this. I'm so glad I finally got around to reading it. Perfect for male reluctant readers age 10-13, great for everyone else. Would be great for family or classroom discussion.

Yes, it's about what it means to be a true friend. It's also about courage. Almost everyone in the book acts courageously at one time or another. And the few that don't, well, they show us the consequences of cowardice. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Awesome and funny at most parts example of a great friendship ( )
  ParkerF | Jan 10, 2013 |
Slim and powerful, describing a rambunctious joy in a rural summer. The boy's display a loose-limbed exuberance, and the suspicious, slightly hostile, slightly conspiratorial relationship between the boys and their sisters is hilarious and spot-on. The tragic turns feel authentic and not overly-dramatized. ( )
  ref27 | Oct 18, 2011 |
Touching book that made me cry at the end. ( )
  Lizzybeth23 | May 2, 2011 |
Recommended Ages: Gr. 5-7

Plot Summary: Two boys become friends and get into a lot of trouble with each other as they explore the creek, catch frogs, learn to shoot a rifle, try to impress each other with a louder fart, shoot squirrels (but his a cat instead), and more.

Setting: small town near a forest and creeks


Recurring Themes: friendship, family, abuse, frogs, nature

Controversial Issues:

Personal Thoughts: Definitely a boy book with the short chapters, short overall length, and topics. Although it becomes serious at the end of the book, boys will be interested in the adventures and trouble the boys get into. Reminds me of a shorter version of Red Kayak with its characters and the importance of doing the right thing.





  pigeonlover | Jan 15, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440419433, Paperback)

Russell Cooper is lucky. When he and his family move to Lost River, a toothy-grinned boy named Joey Banks takes him under his wing. Joey makes everything into an adventure--cavorting in his favorite swimming hole, target practice with his .22, catching frogs, and playing tricks on his annoying older sister Amanda Jane. When their boyish pranks would go awry, as they often did, Joey would swear "Rusty-boy" to secrecy: "Seems like Joey and me were always making pacts. Lots of pacts, leading up to that last one. 'Rusty,' he'd say to me. 'I swear to howdy, if you tell a soul...'" Van Draanen's tales of boyhood antics told by a boy with a down-home way of talking, brings back the spirit of Huck Finn, and, as in Huckleberry Finn, darker themes lurk beneath the surface.

Joey lives in fear of his father's temper (and the switch), and he creates elaborate schemes to conceal anything that might cause his dad to blow, from replacing a dead pet goldfish to burying the body of the family cat he accidentally kills when his dad orders him to shoot some pesky squirrels. When one of Joey and Rusty's pranks turns tragic, the two boys are eaten alive by their horrible secret, kept so by a sacred blood oath of friendship. Author of the award-winning Sammy Keyes mysteries series and Flipped, Van Draanen knows how to tell a story--keeping the narrative light on its feet while dramatically portraying the idea that actions have consequences and keeping secrets can be deadly. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Two thirteen-year-old boys share neighborhood adventures, complaints about their older sisters, family secrets, and even guilt that bind them together in a special friendship.

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