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Swallowing Stones

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,492 ratings  ·  244 reviews
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 kee ...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Perfection Learning (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,410)
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Karol

This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet di
...more
Charley Harpole
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Stacy
I HATE the ending of this book!!! I seriously want back the hours that I wasted reading this book!!! The story had such great suspense, building up to what could have been such a supreme moment of plot, but then it falls flat - no, worse than that, it ceases to exist as a narrative. It's as if the author couldn't write the ending that was destined to exist!! When I am forced to teach this book, which I avoid doing if I can, I have the class stop reading right before the last few pages to have my ...more
Deb
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FANCEYY GURRAL ZARI AYE
This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet di ...more
Sara
The internal conflict that Michael Mackenzie endures throughout the novel Swallowing Stones and the lies he must come up with to cover up his crime are some of the best features of this novel. The novel starts off with Michael Mackenzie carelessly firing off a new riffle he received as a birthday present; what Michael does not know is that his bullet traveled far enough in the air and ended up hitting a man that was fixing his roof. The next day, Michael learns of the man that was killed by a st ...more
Jena Guthrie
Swallowing stones is a story about a seventeen year old boy named Michael who on his birthday recieves a rifle. He shoots one shot in the air, which changes his life; for the worse. A mile away, he has taken the life of a innocent man. As time progresses, Michael finds out he is the murderer. Jenna, the daughter of the man killed, has been completely devistated. Her relationship between her boyfriend and friends begin to change as she starts having dreams about Micheal, the boy in which she neve ...more
Taylor Gwinn-bowles
This book was so mysterious and captivating, I could not put it down. Michael received a gun on his seventeenth birthday, and fires it into the woods. That bullet hits a man that was working on his roof and kills him. After firing the rifle Michael hears on the radio that the police is looking for the gun that matches the bullet.The police start rummaging Michael's neighbors, looking for the rifle. As all of this goes on, Michael becomes paranoid and tries to convince himself that that bullet di ...more
Jacqueline V
Very well written book, i enjoyed how it had different chapters for the different characters point of view on the whole situation that happened with Michael McKenzie and Jenna Wards father!! I would totally read it again:)
Erick Diaz
The book “Swallowing Stones” is a mystery sort of story in which is mainly about two characters in which one accidentally murders his father and feels to be punished for it. Michael’s seventeenth birthday came and received a birthday gift known as the later used murder weapon. Michael joyfully shoots his gun up in the air and is later found in a dead father’s skull. Jenna is shocked to hear the report of his father’s death and tries to find out who murdered him accidentally. Later on, Michael h ...more
Jesus Pacheco

Swallowing Stones

Is a catastrophic book about a accidental murder about Michael the protagonist bestowed a winchester rifle on the Fourth of July shooting it off and hitting a man repairing his roof. When michael had received the news that a man had been killed on that day, it was a nuisance because he felt his heart-drop because by synchronously he shot off a gun that day.He was with his friend at the time he heard the news at the dmv his friend reassuring him it wasn’t him that did because m
...more
Kaylee

The book Swallowing Stones by Joyce Mcdonald was very appealing, I rate it a 4. It’s structure allowed you to see two perspectives of one central conflict. Swallowing Stones would be interesting for high school students. It has relatable topics such as romance, keeping secrets, and lying. Michael Mackenzie, one of the main characters has a lot of anxiety that most teenagers also go through. Michael was once a very popular and out-going student, but after he accidentally kills a man while showing
...more
Yarelly Gonzalez
This novel “Swallowing Stones” by Joyce Mcdonald was suspenseful and mysterious.I give it a rate of 3.5-4. It revolved mainly between Jenna and Michael. Michael in the beginning of the novel was happy and was enjoying life, he was known as the popular boy in school. Jenna on the other hand was not known much she did not stand out.The novel would go back and forth between the perspectives of Jenna and Michael. It all begins on the 4th of July on Michael’s seventeenth birthday when he receives a g ...more
Daisy Peralta
Swallowing Stones is a truly captivating book about a teenage boy named Michael who received a gun for his birthday, but little did he know it would change his life when he made the decision to fire it into the air,not knowing he unintentionally killed a man who was a few blocks away repairing his roof.The man had a daughter named Jenna who had been there at the very moment the tragic accident happened.Michael first tries to convinced himself he didn't do it, but on the inside, he knows he did. ...more
Eujanae Alexander
Swallowing Stones wasn't such a bad book, it wasn't something that kept you on the edge of your seat but it also wasn't something that put you to sleep. It had some interesting parts in the book but overall I probably wouldn't read it for a second time. I probably would recommend the book to readers who don't really like to read but needs something to read anyways. I think the ending could have been a little better, Michael receives a gun for his seventeenth birthday then the gun ends up shootin ...more
Tommy Benson
Swallowing Stones written by Joyce McDonald, is about two characters.Michael who was the one who shot the rifle and killed Jenna’s dad, Jenna is the second main character. Throughout the book they both go through struggles, Michael’s struggle is trying to cover up the killing and Jenna’s is trying to find the murderer, now for the review. This book is god awful it was one of the most boring books I've ever read and I've read the bible, now McDonald does a great job with detail in the book but hi ...more
Veronica Juarez
As soon as you start reading this book, you get hooked in on the suspense when a boy named Micheal gets a rifle for his birthday, and not thinking anything of it he shoots a round off into the woods. As he’s on his way to take his driving test, he hears on the radio that a man was shot from a mysterious bullet, he starts panicking and doesn’t know what do. Not knowing that, that bullet killed a young girls father. The guys daughter, jenna is devistated of her dads loss, jenna and her mother feel ...more
Breanna Beliveau
I would rate Swallowing Stones a 4 out of 5, this is a great book that will leave you anxious about the ending. This book keeps you on your toes, but in the end it turns out alright for both Michael and Jenna. While Michael is having a great weekend with friends and family, only a mile away, Jenna is about to have the worst day of her life. Jenna’s father is shot out of the blue and killed instantly, but no one seems to know how or why. Until one day Michael hears the accident on the radio while ...more
Jillian
The book, Swallowing Stones, is about two young teenagers and how their lives were forever changed and impacted by one bullet that was shot in the air of the 4th of July. Michael Mackenzie had received a gun on his seventeenth birthday and went out to test it in the woods near his house. The bullet that Michael shot landed in the back of Jenna Ward’s fathers head instantly killing him. No one understood who shot the bullet or where it had came from that day until the police started gathering mor ...more
Adam
In swallowing stones Michael is having his 17th birthday party on the 4th of July . Michael had gotten a rifle for his birthday little did he know that gun would change his life. Michael and his friends shoot the gun in the air, around the same time Jenna’s dad who lives a couple blocks away was working on the their roof on that day a fatal accident had occurred a bullet had fallen from the sky and killed her father in front of her eyes. Michael hears about the killing and panics and starts to s ...more
Hannah
Swallowing Stones was a pretty good book overall. The beginning of the book starts out kind of fast so there is no need to worry about it dragging on and being boring. After one of the main characters, Michael, gets a gun for his seventeenth birthday he decides to shoot it into the air in the woods by his house to celebrate. Little does he know that the bullet lands in the next town over and kills a man. After Michael hears of the death he immediately starts to feel guilty but tries to convince ...more
Maegen Hardcastle
Overall, it was a pretty good book. It was a hard one to get into, but after the first 40-50 pages or so, it was a page turner. It starts off with Michael, one of the main characters, at his birthday party acting young and dumb with a birthday present he received from his grandfather. His actions ended up killing a man he does not even know. Jenna, the man’s daughter, is a girl that life gets turned upside-down because of Michael’s stupid mistake. The author switches back and forth between Jenna ...more
Katelyn Sable
The book Swallowing Stones was a good book. The suspense in it made the book more interesting. The author also wrote the book from two different points of view which was different. Another thing that the author did that made the book interesting was she put other drama pieces into it with relationships and friendships.
From the beginning of the book there was suspense. Even with little extra events that happened in the book there was some suspense part to it. For example when Michael was cheati
...more
Yulissa Pineda
Its fourth of July in the a small town called Bridgewood. Were teenage boy Michael received his first rifle, from his grandfather. Since it was his birthday as well he had a chance to shoot into the air for fun, a free and joyful day that turns into a tragedy within hours after. Never in a million years would he have thought that the one bullet he shot would have ended up killing someone. An innocent man's life was taken because of one simple mistake. Not knowing the consequences Michael will be ...more
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Good, but I was reading rather quickly and didn't really get drawn too far into it. The "dream" scenes with the "Ghost Tree" were vaguely annoying because it sort of steps beyond the realm of realism but are probably necessary to deal with these types of deep feelings, similar to how fantasy can deal with issues of good and evil that would be cheesy in contemporary realistic fiction. The characters felt real and I thought that the realistic part of the ending was nicely and sensitively done.
Cody Connolly
I read Swallowing Stones my freshman year of high school around 2009. I remember really enjoying the novel, so when I found it for a couple dollars I had to get it and relive the story for myself. This time I fully understand the story and I completely understand all the things I was being taught from the book.

This book brings forth a lot of emotions that you experience through both main characters. You feel their highs and lows and the guilt and darkness they carry weighs heavy on your conscien
...more
Lyric Gomez
I give the book Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald 4 stars because it was a mysterious and suspenseful book, but i did not like the end of the book . The book is written in a two point perspective. It shows how Michael and Jenna felt about the incident . The book Swallowing Stones begins with Michael shooting his new rifle into the air on his seventeenth birthday, but he never imagine the bullet killing anyone. But about a mile away, an innocent man is killed by that bullet as he repairs his ro ...more
Annia Lennox
I’m going to be honest- I really didn’t like this book. I finished because it was short and read some reviews on Goodreads about it having a great mystery. But I’m unsure of what the mystery was supposed to be-when will Michael stop being a selfish asshole? Because the answer is never.

I like the concept of this story, but it was executed poorly. To me, it feels like something a “scholarly” adult thinks YA “literature” should be. And it didn’t even do that particularly well. For me, the only int
...more
Kirsten
Summary from Library School Journal: Michael MacKenzie, 17, spends a summer of guilt that he and his unsavory friend, Joe, after a strange freak accident. In alternating chapters, Michael and a dead man's 15-year-old daughter, Jenna, creep inexorably toward their inevitable confrontation. This mesmerizing story largely derives its power from the respect McDonald demonstrates for these teens and their emotions, and her unwavering focus on their changing relationships in response to the tragedy.


I
...more
Carole
During Michael's seventeen year old birthday party Michael shoots the rifle his grandfather gave him into the air; the bullet travels miles through the air and kills a man who is repairing his roof. Michael doesn't find out until the next day that he killed someone accidently. His best friend talks him out of going to the police, so for several months he agonizes over what he had done. He finds out that the man had a family, a wife and daughter, and he begins to watch out over the family, doing ...more
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Born in San Francisco, CA, and raised in Chatham, NJ, Joyce McDonald received her BA and MA from the University of Iowa, and went on to complete her Ph.D. at Drew University. She is the author of several books for children and young adults, among them the award winning Swallowing Stones, and the Edgar Award Nominated Shades of Simon Gray. She has taught
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More about Joyce McDonald...
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