English 9 Period 3
October 19, 2012
Michael Mackenzie will think that he is having the best day of his life on his seventeenth birthday party on the Fourth of July, because in that moment he does not know that he has accidentally killed a man. In Swallowing Stones, Joyce McDonald has written about a teenage boy whose life will turn upside down when he finds out he has killed Jenna Ward’s father, Charlie Ward. The Briarwood police department desperately looks for the killer while Michael hides it from everyone except for a few of his friends, making them accessories.
When Michael hears about Charlie’s death on the radio his best friend Joe Sadowski, who was with him when he shot his .45-70 Winchester rifle, tried to convince him that it wasn’t him who killed the man. Soon, the two friends find out that it was him and Michael tries to hide the evidence. The police manage to narrow their search to about forty kids that were at Michael’s party. Michael starts to feel unsafe around everyone except one friend, Amy Ruggerio. He visits her every day after work, but she starts to feel uncomfortable with him. She finally tells him that she saw him and Joe walk out of the woods with the rifle on the day of his party. While this was happening, Jenna kept dreaming with Michael and a huge tree but she didn’t know why. She also thought she saw him waiting outside her house on some nights, watching her. She begins to question why. Whenever she thinks about the killer Michael’s face pops into her mind. Everybody started to suspect it was Joe so Michael starts feeling guilty. Finally, he takes the rifle and drives to police station to confess. On his way there, he visits the Spirit Tree, a huge tree in the woods that Joe and he visited as little kids to hang out. When he gets there he’s surprised to find Jenna sleeping next to the tree. He decides to wait until she wakes up to tell her the truth.
Joyce McDonald uses many forms of...