Children's Books Jerry Spinelli Wringer

ISBN 13: 9780007156016

Wringer

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9780007156016: Wringer

Palmer LaRue is running out of birthdays. For as long as he can remember, he's dreaded the day he turns ten, the day he's supposed to become a wringer.In Palmer's hometown of Waymer, a boy's tenth birthday is the biggest event of his life. It marks the day that he is ready to take his place as a wringer at the annual family fest, Pigeon Day. It's an honour and a tradition. But even though he would rather stay nine for the rest of his life than become a wringer, Palmer can't stop himself from getting older. Then an unwanted visitor arrives on his windowsill, and Palmer knows that it is a sign. Somehow, he must find a way to break tradition. He must learn how to stop being afraid, and stand up for what he believes in.

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Review:

Newbery Medal-winning author Jerry Spinelli tells a story of peer pressure so foul, so horrifying, that Wringer should be shelved along with Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War. Nine-year-old Palmer dreads his upcoming 10th birthday. In his town, when boys are 10 years old they become "wringers," the boys who wring the necks of wounded pigeons at the annual Pigeon Day shoot. Palmer is sickened by the whole event. To make matters worse, his new buddies--Beans, Mutto, and Henry--have just discovered that Palmer has been hiding a pet pigeon in his room. What will Palmer do? Will he become a wringer to save face, or will he follow his heart? Wringer will appeal to preteens and younger teens who love to read suspenseful books on their own, but it would also be a good story to read aloud to spark discussion about the perils and nuances of peer pressure.

From the Back Cover:

He was not aware that he ever stopped crying.In his sleep a voice echoed down the long dark barrel of a cannon: You have run out of birthdays. In the morning he awoke suddenly to a flutter of wings.

Birthdays are an obsession where Palmer comes from, but if turning a year older means initiation into a violent practice he despises, he'd rather not. Unfortunately, Palmer cannot stop time any more than he can change tradition. So as this next and most important birthday approaches, Palmer knows that it's now or never. Something must be done.

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Spinelli, Jerry
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books (2003)
ISBN 10: 0007156014 ISBN 13: 9780007156016
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Jerry Spinelli
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