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Swear to Howdy by Wendelin Van Draanen
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Swear to Howdy

by Wendelin Van Draanen

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Narrated by Jeff Woodman. When Rusty moves to his new neighborhood, he meets Joey Banks. Joey is a natural leader, coming up with outrageous ideas for pranks and fighting his way out of hilarious scrapes. When situations go awry, Joey and Rusty "swear to howdy" and exchange blood in a promise that they won't ever tell anyone what happened. A midnight prank to frighten drivers goes tragically wrong when Joey's sister is killed in an accident. The secret eats away at the boys and eventually Rusty must step up and tell the truth in order to save Joey's life.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Great story about the friendship and antics of two young boys and how the trouble they get into while trying to have fun. ( )
  Don_Mega | Dec 18, 2015 |
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 |
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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)

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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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