Swallowing Stones

Paperback | May 8, 2012

byJoyce Mcdonald

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It begins with a free and joyful act--but from then on, Michael finds it impossible even to remember what it felt like to be free and joyful.  When he fires his new rifle into the air on his seventeenth birthday, he never imagines that the bullet will end up killing someone.  But a mile away, a man is killed by that bullet as he innocently repairs his roof.  And Michael keeps desperately silent while he watches his world crumble.

Meanwhile Jenna, the dead man's daughter, copes with desperation of her own.  Through her grief, she tries to understand why she no longer feels comfortable with her boyfriend and why a near stranger named Michael keeps appearing in her dreams.

Suspenseful and powerfully moving, this is the unforgettable story of an accidental crime and its haunting web of repercussions.

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It begins with a free and joyful act--but from then on, Michael finds it impossible even to remember what it felt like to be free and joyful.  When he fires his new rifle into the air on his seventeenth birthday, he never imagines that the bullet will end up killing someone.  But a mile away, a man is killed by that bullet as he innoce...

Joyce McDonald is the author of several critically acclaimed young adult and middle-grade novels, including Shades of Simon Gray, an Edgar Allan Poe Award nominee and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Devil on My Heels, nominated for five state awards. She is also a poet and is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in writing pr...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.57 inPublished:May 8, 2012Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307976092

ISBN - 13:9780307976093

Appropriate for ages: 12

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It was all true, then. The nightmare was real. Michael could no longer pretend, as he sometimes did, that there was a chance he hadn't fired that fatal shot. The bullet had come from somewhere in his neighborhood. The chances of someone else in such a small area shooting off a gun around noon on that same day were probably one in a million. He had spent weeks trying to get used to the idea that he had committed this hideous act. But always, somewhere, there had been hope. A bullet traveling a mile or more through the air could have come from as far away as the next town over. There had always been the outside chance that someone else had fired a gun into the air that Fourth of July afternoon. Now that chance no longer existed.