Danielle Spencer's Reviews > Swear to Howdy

Swear to Howdy by Wendelin Van Draanen
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: english-420
Read in February, 2012

This book is about the main character, Rusty, and his best friend Joey. The novel starts with their boyish adventures, but soon takes a more serious tone. Joey has an abusive father, and eventually, Rusty and Joey accidentally cause the death of Joey's sister. As he has done in the past, Joey makes Rusty swear not to tell, but neither boy is dealing well with the secret. In the end, Rusty barely prevents Joey's suicide. It seems like Joey will never forgive Rusty for telling, but eventually, the forgiveness comes. I was surprised by the heavy tone of this book. I think there's value in the lesson that sometimes true friendship means doing hard things. I think such lessons are valuable for all young adults, though I recommend discretion because of the abuse references and the suicide scene. Younger readers may need a guide to such heavy material.

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