Chapter 1 Summary
In the book No Promises in the Wind, Josh, a young teenager, and Joey, a young scrawny kid, go out to deliver papers to only afterwards come home to there annoyed dad. Who then yells at Josh for not wearing his sweater on the cold, winter morning Josh gets his breakfast, then goes to his mom to ask for money to buy hot coco, but she goes to her room and slams the door.
Josh knew what that meant, not to go near her at all. So he goes to school with his best friend, Howie, and prepare for a play. After rehearsal, they go to their music room to play. Then their teacher walks in the room astonished of how well they played the piano and banjo. She later hurries josh and Howie out of the room so she can get home.
When josh gets home, they have dinner. Josh asks if he can have another potato. After his question, his dad yells at him once again. Josh’s mom stands up for Josh. His dad thinks that Josh feels special because he has a job and should get another potato. Josh storms to his room. Later that night, him and Joey decide to run away with Howie. So, they sneak out of the house and meet up with Howie the next night.
- Resentment- To begrudge someone or have a strong feeling of anger or regret
against someone or something.
- Desolate- deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited; devastated.
- Paltry- Worthless, trifling, ridiculously or insultingly small.
-Josh works early in the morning delivering papers.
-Josh and his dad fought alot ever since Joey was born, but especially alot during 1932
-Joey buys milk and gives it to a cat that is starving in an alley. Josh comes along and yells at him because of the families need for money and food.
-Josh asks for more food and he gets into a huge argument with his father because of it.
-Josh and his mother finally fight and they decide that it's better off for him to go out and live on his own during the depression.
-Josh then meets up with Howie and tells him about the plan, which Howie then agrees to accompany him on his journey to survive.
Chapter 2 Summary
Josh tells Howie his plan to leave town, and Howie announces that he wants to come with him. Joey arrives, saying he had just heard their plan to go with them. Josh says no, but Howie says yes. Howie sides with Joey, asking why he can’t come. Josh then agrees to let Joey go.
They leave home and begin panhandling to get enough money for food. Howie plays the banjo, while Joey sings, and they earn enough money to eat. They get to the train station and a hobo tells them about the trains. For Joey’s safety, they decide not to hop the train, but to hide in a car. They are not caught and the train starts, but before the end of the ride they are caught and forced to get off.
Soon they are encountered by an angry group of townspeople, telling them they have enough poor, and that they need to leave. They decide to jump the train instead of staying there. A hobo helps Joey on, and Josh jumps on. Howie throws up his banjo, but doesn’t make it in time and is hit by another oncoming train. Josh tries to jump off to help Howie, but is tackled by other train-hoppers. Josh and Joey grieved for the rest of train ride.
- Savagery- Fierce or cruel.
- Expedition- Journey or voyage of a particular purpose.
- Indifferently- Having no partiality for or against, having no interest or sympathy
-Josh and Howie plan to leave Chicago and run away together.
-Joey meets up with them before they leave and decides to follow them and run away along with them.
-Howie plays the Banjo while Joey sings for money the first night they start living together. This is called Panhandling.
-They hide in a train West until they are caught and thrown out of the train
-They must jump onto a train as it's about to leave, which is extremely dangerous because 1 mistake could lead to death, if they want to go anywhere.
-Josh and Joey make it fine, however Howie throws his Banjo up first and as he starts to jump, it looks like an invisible force grabs him because he is picked up and slammed under the train.
Chapter 3 Summary
In the previous chapter, Howie was run over by the train and died. After this, Josh and Joey were very upset. Joey’s face was swollen with tears, and Josh’s legs were shaking and he could barley walk. A man gave them a can of beans, and not knowing what to do next, they slept under a bridge that night and cried.
The next day, Josh and Joey felt better but they were hungry. They found a farm and inside made a warm fire. They also found a chicken and made stew with it. The owners of the farm came and invited Josh and Joey back to their house. At their house, they had a warm, delicious dinner and the man gave them a sack of potatoes. Josh and Joey thanked the kind people and got a ride from a farmer who dropped them off outside of the next town.
That night, Josh and Joey slept in a forest, and a group of boys attacked them and stole their food, blanket and extra clothes. Gosh had a deep cut on his forehead and his eyes were almost swollen shut. They walked to the next town and a policeman put Josh and Joey in jail for fighting. He even let them sleep in the jail, which they were grateful for.
- Footbridge- A bridge intended for pedestrians only.
- Cesspool- A covered hole or pit for receiving drainage or sewage.
- Ramshackle- loosely made or held together.
-Josh and Joey try to get as far away as they can from trains because of Howie's death on won, but they know it will be inevitable to ride one again if they have to travel.
-When they are off the train, a single man out of a group of people gives them a can of beans and tells them that it would be best if they went somewhere where someone could take care of them.
-Josh and Joey talk about their plan of running away and how good it sounded that night, but now they recognize the danger of it, and talk about their future.
-Josh and Joey use a wrecked house for shelter and warmth.
-They kill one of the chickens there for dinner that night but don't know how to cook it.
-The couple that owns the house brings them to their primary house where the rest, shower, and feed them. After they leave they are caught and thrown in jail for a night.
Chapter 4 Summary
After Josh getting in a fight for Joey’s sack of potatoes, he arrived in a town where he had to sleep in jail for one night. All he is thinking about is food. Now they are worried about their empty stomachs and looking for food.
Close to starvation, Josh is desperate enough to check the garbage cans behind a restaurant looking for food. They then go begging at a house where a pretty girl gives them a box full of canned goods. They then continue to travel west when they eventually stop at a farmhouse. A nice lady provides them with rest, food, bathing and new clothing. Josh and Joey were in a cycle of luck. They then continue to travel west when they meet a nice man name Lonnie. He helps them and starts to drive them west to help Joey find a job. On the ride Lonnie comes out to tell them about his son Davy, who one day complete of terrible stomach aches, but Lonnie thought it was nothing and told him not to worry about it. A couple days later, Davy ends up dying of a disease called appendicitis. It then cause silence I the car as they traveled west.
Josh and Joey continue to get lucky and they are on their way west to look for a job.
- Capricious: Subject to, led by, or indicative of caprice or whim; erratic.
- Indignity: An injury to a person's dignity; slighting or contemptuous treatment; humiliating affront, insult, or injury.
- Slacken: To make or become less active, vigorous, and intense
-Josh and Joey are still getting over Howie's death.
-They go to soup kitchen where they get food illegally because only adults are supposed to receive food there.
-They are forced to start dumpster searching for food.
-They are forced to start begging, so Joey does it because of his frail yet adorable look people have a hard time resisting him food or necessities
-They go into the old ladies house who is very kind to them and feeds them and lets them stay there for the night.
-They meet Lonnie in a diner.
Chapter 5 Summary
Desperately looking for a job or key to survival, Josh and Joey find Lon Bromer, a truck driver who helps the boys get food and shelter. His charity begins by giving the boys a ride Louisiana. Lonnie provided food and a place to stay. Josh showed his appreciation by thanking him but at the same time he felt guilty and ashamed that he could not provide for himself and Joey.
While at a rest stop in Nebraska, Josh sees an old piano and gets permission to play it. He amazes the people with his skill and liveliness. Coincidently, the waitress has a cousin in Louisiana who might be able to find a job for Josh. She tells the boys and Lonnie to look for Pete Harris by the outskirts of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
They traveled south in search of opportunity. The boys and Lonnie sought out Pete Harris and the carnival. As they progressed into the state of Louisiana, they were exposed to an unheard language, so called “mixed-up French” or Cajun talk. This made the boys uneasy and worried. After one hundred miles they could finally see the carnival. They saw lights that shined all colors of the rainbow and heard the over whelming noise of the laughs and screams of the people on the rides.
When Josh entered the carnival his mind wandered to memories of his father. It caused the feeling of loneliness, but then he thought of the hatred he possessed for his father and then the feeling went away. While approaching the tent with Pete Harris written on the side, a flood of nervousness came over Josh. Josh, Joey, and Lonnie entered the tent. Lonnie consulted with Pete Harris and the called in the boys. Pete Harris was unsure about the employment of Josh as a pianist. With the lack of ticket sales from the Depression, he was frugal with the carnival employees. He decides to hire Josh and him and Joey give a place to stay along with food.
Josh’s job was playing the piano outside of the dancer’s tent to attract guest to watch. He wore his costume with consisted of tight pants and a checkered vest to make him visible. This seemed painful for Josh because he was the shy type and not the silly happy type. The thought of people watching him
was an unbearable feeling. He came over the embarrassment by thinking of the five dollars a week.
Josh and Joey are introduced to a beautiful, young women. Her name is Emily. She is the clown at the carnival, as is known as Bongo. Josh starts to fall in love with Emily
-Josh records what Lonnie spends on him so he can pay him back when he gets a job.
-Josh and Joey learn of Cajun Talk
-They find the Carnival in New Orleans where hopefully Josh can get a job playing the piano.
-Josh feels lonely for his father, but then remembers how he was treated and becomes angry with him.
-Pete Harris, owner of the Carnival, gives Josh a piano playing job,
-Lonnie leaves and Josh and Joey meet a very pretty clown, Emily. Josh plays the piano as an attraction for the dancers.
Chapter 6 Summary
In chapter six Josh begins to experience the hardships of losing good friends and living on his own with his brother, Joey. The chapter starts off with Josh waiting for his good friend Emily, who he secretly has a crush on, to come to his piano to say goodnight to him, saying comments such as, “ You have a unique gift Josh; don’t let these times make you lose sight of it.” He learns that this is one of the few things that he looked forward to during his long day.
Fearing that he lost his, job Josh and Joey mailed a letter to Lonnie containing a total of four dollars. Josh and Joey were so excited about buying gifts for people, that they opened their presents days earlier then Christmas. Among his gifts Josh acquires a wallet. Joey receives a blue collared shirt with a chocolate bar slid into the breast pocket. Later Joey sends a letter to their parents containing money for his family, yet Josh doesn’t sign the letter.
Josh, Joey and Edward C. are invited to Emily’s house for Christmas Eve for cocoa and molasses cookies. Although Josh wanted to give Emily a feminine product they came to agreement that a box of nicely polished dimes with a ribbon tied at the top would be more useful.
Josh finds out that Pete Harris and Emily plan on getting married, and hearing him call her “hon” hurts him even more. Florinda put salt on the wound by telling Josh that he should get over Emily because she was Pete Harris’ girl. The Belgans said that Pete Harris was a fool to take on her children and a clown. This was the final straw and Josh treats Emily as a stranger from then on.
Emily and Josh later have a talk about why they wouldn’t even be able to be together, and that Emily is marrying Pete because he is a good ma.
Just as things seemed that they couldn’t get any worse, the carnival burns down. The oilier was left running and the wind blew it. Most everything caught on fire. Joey managed to save his and Josh’s belongings.
Josh and Joey decide to leave the carnival to find Lonnie. They say their goodbyes to everyone, and they are off.
-Josh and Joey buy each other gifts for Christmas with the money that they earned from their -Carnival jobs. Josh falls in love with Emily.
-Josh puts " Please notify Lon Bromer " on his wallet card of emergency ( the wallet was his present from Joey ).
-Emily tells Josh that he is Lonely.
-Emily invites Edward C., the boys, and Pete Harris over for molasses and cookies.
-Josh wants to buy a personal gift for Emily but is talked into giving her money instead.
-Josh hates Pete Harris for calling Emily hon. Pete gives Emily earrings. The Carnival is burned down.
Chapter 7 Summary
In Chapter 7, Josh and Joey are confused but they must leave the place where they stay. Nobody wanted them to leave but they had to. Have you ever had to be on the road without stopping for the whole day? They start out and money is tight. Josh and Joey had to leave the carnival because it was burnt to the ground. Everyone was devastated about this. Josh and Joey took a train after that, when the train stopped a man in a truck picked them up. They ended up 70 miles away from the carnival. All the man talked about was how bad the democracy made people suffer.
When they stopped they found a car, they searched it well and found a dead body in the trunk. After, they met Charley. Charley helped them and he had a wallet with a lot of money in it. Josh and Joey found a hotel and the price per bed was 50 cents. Joey paid for the beds. In the morning, after they walked the whole day on foot, a man gave them a ride and ended up in Texas. They ended up staying in a cobbler’s shop. Charley gave them counterfeit money and they got it taken away from them.
In this chapter, you learn how Josh and Joey fled the carnival. They also met Charley and he helped them a lot. They got their money taken away and Josh got sick. Charley also gave them a place to stay. Charley got them through the harsh times. They found a cobbler’s shop and stayed there. Charley also gave them counterfeit money and they got caught and had it taken away from them by a sheriff at a shop where they sold overshoes.
- Yokel- term to refer to a stereotype of unsophisticated country people
- Hooch- nickname for illegally distilled corn or grain based alcohol
- Complacent- pleased with one self’s merits
-Josh and Joey received a letter from Edward C.
-The boys catch a ride with a truck driver.
-The truck driver drops them off 70 miles away from the Carnival.
-They find a car, and when they search it, they find a dead body in the trunk.
-The boys meet Charley, a man who does his business illegally.
-The boys catch a ride with Charley and remain high spirited as they get closer to Lonnie's home.
Chapter 8 Summary
Joey and Josh arrived in Nebraska and continued their search for food and shelter. Josh was very ill but did not let on to Joey how ill he really was. The boys begged for something to eat from a woman who could not feed her own children. She became angry but could not turn the boys away even though she had children of her own who were only eating one mean per day. Josh became so ill that Joey had to go out begging on his own. Joey returned with an entire loaf of bread but the next day he gave half of it to the woman who fed them the day before. Josh struck Joey knocking him to the ground for giving away their food and Joey took off leaving Josh feverish and alone.
Josh set out to find Joey but had no luck. Josh became so sick that he fell and began to imagine that he was going to die. When he awoke, he slowly realized that he was in Lonnie’s house. A couple found Josh along the road and notified Lonnie through a piece of paper Josh had in his wallet. Lonnie’s niece, Janey, was also there and helped to care for Josh. After explaining to Lonnie what happened between him and Joey, Lonnie reassured Josh that they would search for Joey until they found him. Josh losing Joey in this time of his life when things are already hard for them is like a knife going right through Josh’s big heart that he has for his younger brother Joey.
Josh began his recovery with Janey and her grandmother helping him out while Lonnie was working. Janey and Josh spent the next day talking and listening to President Roosevelt’s inaugural address. Josh found some hope in President Roosevelt’s speech. He also realized that Janey was not as homely as he originally thought. The two of them talked about Lonnie’s family and the fond between Lonnie and Janey. For the first time, Josh was smiling and laughing. He even began to wonder if he could ever fall in love with Janey.
- Inaugural- the ceremonial induction into a position.
- Quavering- quivering as from weakness or fear.
- Seizure- the taking possession of person or property by legal process
-Josh and Joey arrive in Nebraska.
-Josh becomes ill, and as a result Joey is forced to beg for food on his own.
-Josh is angered that Joey gave away food and hits him which makes Joey leave.
-Josh tried finding Joey but to no avail. Then Josh passed out.
-A couple found Josh and notified Lonnie because they saw his name in Josh's wallet.
-Josh woke up to lying in Lonnie's house. He began recovering there along with the help from Lonnie's niece, Janey.
Chapter 9 Summary
-Josh explains what happened to Lonnie and begins growing dark moods when he returns without Joey.
-Josh begins re-telling all they've been through since Lonnie left them at the Carnival.
-Josh and Janey grow to like each other.
-Josh gets a letter from home after Lonnie writes to his parents telling them about what happened.
-Lonnie doesn't give up trying to find Joey even though every day it seems more futile.
-Lonnie finds Joey.
Chapter 10 Summary
-Josh is in great debt to Lonnie for finding Joey and taking care of them while they recover.
-Josh recognizes the weaknesses and flaws in him as part of self-discipline and begins to take accountability for his actions.
-Josh gets another job playing the piano in a restaurant in Nebraska.
-Josh plans to go home because he believes it would be the best thing for him and Joey now.
-Josh and Joey sing together in the last song at the restaurant and it's the song that their father taught them about their native land.
-They go home and are reunited with their family.