Michael MacKenzie is having the greatest Fourth of July of his life. It's his 17th birthday, his friends are gathered at his house for an all-day party, and he's finally old enough to take his driver's test. To top everything off, his grandfather has given him a wonderful Winchester rifle. At noon, Michael takes his gift into the woods behind the house to celebrate. Joyfully, he shoots once into the air. But with this single, unthinking moment, he sets in motion a web of hideous consequences-and getting through each day becomes as difficult as swallowing stones. Critically-acclaimed author Joyce McDonald skillfully weaves together truth, guilt, and responsibility to create this gripping novel. With his dramatic narration, Ed Sala breathes life into each of the finely-drawn teens and their parents.
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by Nancy Willard
by Stephen Krensky
by Julie Danneberg, Margot Apple
by Jean Craighead George
by David Ezra Stein
by Ben Mikaelsen
by Megan McDonald
by Sterling North
"The moral dilemma McDonald presents immediately captures the listener's attention: Michael MacKenzie, 17, does not come forward when he realizes he has accidentally killed 15-year-old Jenna Ward's father. The tormented story is told in alternating chapters that focus on Michael or Jenna. While a mature voice is at first unexpected, Ed Sala quickly persuades the ensnared audience of his power to convey Michael's fear and guilt, Jenna's pain and confusion. Sala adeptly recounts the interplay between teen friendships and romance, as well as family relationships. The fluid narration even allows the supernatural some credibility in this book, which is filled with issues that absorb teens. R.N. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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