My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Swallowing Stones is a terrific young adult novel, posing some tough ethical questions. Jenna Ward's father is killed in a freak accident after a teenager shoots an antique Winchester into the air. The story is told from two different points of view: Jenna's and Michael, who fired the gun. As Jenna deals with her father's sudden death, Michael is wracked not only with his guilt, but with the pact he made with Joe, his best friend, to keep the circumstances of the accident secret. The portrayal of the two teens, their interactions with their friends, and their struggle with doing what is right, is quite realistic. The story was gripping, and I couldn't put it down! There is some mild sexual content (the description of very realistic emotions and physical reactions) that might prevent me from using this book with my 7th graders, but it's certainly a book that would capture their interest, and I think that the questions the book poses are probably worth a few "embarrassing" lines.
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