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Wringer

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Wringer PDF, ePub eBook Sometimes he wished it would come after him, chase him, this thing he did not want to be. But the thing never moved. It merely waited. Waited for him to come to it. In Palmer LaRue's hometown of Waymer, turning ten is the biggest event of a boy's life. It marks the day when a boy is ready to take his place as a wringer at the annual Family Fest. It's an honor and a traditi Sometimes he wished it would come after him, chase him, this thing he did not want to be. But the thing never moved. It merely waited. Waited for him to come to it. In Palmer LaRue's hometown of Waymer, turning ten is the biggest event of a boy's life. It marks the day when a boy is ready to take his place as a wringer at the annual Family Fest. It's an honor and a tradition. But for Palmer, his tenth birthday is not something to look forward to, but something to dread. Because -- although he can't admit this to anyone -- Palmer does not want to be a wringer. But he can't stop himself from getting older, any more than he can stop tradition. Then one day, a visitor appears on his windowsill, and Palmer knows that this, more than anything else, is a sign that his time is up. Somehow, he must learn how to stop being afraid and stand up for what he believes in.

30 review for Wringer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lars Guthrie

    Maybe my third time for this one, and I've upped my opinion a bit. I had previously found Spinelli's premise a little unrealistic, giving him the opportunity to make some possibly overbearing moral points. Palmer LaRue dreads his upcoming tenth birthday. He wants to fit in with a small gang of rude boys who bully the girl who is his neighbor and erstwhile friend. On his next birthday he will become a 'wringer,' one of the boys who snaps the necks of wounded birds at Waymer, Pennsylvania's annual Maybe my third time for this one, and I've upped my opinion a bit. I had previously found Spinelli's premise a little unrealistic, giving him the opportunity to make some possibly overbearing moral points. Palmer LaRue dreads his upcoming tenth birthday. He wants to fit in with a small gang of rude boys who bully the girl who is his neighbor and erstwhile friend. On his next birthday he will become a 'wringer,' one of the boys who snaps the necks of wounded birds at Waymer, Pennsylvania's annual Pigeon Day shoot. Surely, I thought, nothing like pigeon shoots has happened in recent years. Spinelli must have conflated and inflated in order to condemn. However, it really happened. For 66 years, Hegins, Pennsylvania (obviously the model for Spinelli's fictional Waymer) held a Labor Day pigeon shoot where more than 5,000 birds were killed. Proceeds from the event built and maintained the town's park, just as with Waymer. Young children called 'trappers' were recruited to dispose of pigeons who remained alive after being downed by birdshot, just as in Waymer, while large crowds cheered them on. Protests led to the end of the event in 1999 ('Wringer' was published in 1997), but killing birds released from traps in sporting contests is still legal in Pennsylvania. A court order in 2002 finally prohibited children under 18 acting as agents of euthanasia. Knowing all that certainly added to my involvement in 'Wringer,' but the book also is wonderful for the gift Spinelli has of capturing just how kids and their parents think and act. There's a great moment where Palmer's mother lets him know she is aware of the pigeon he has befriended and which lives in his room: '"Did you really think you could keep your mother out of a room in her own house?" 'Actually, yes, he had thought so.' That is so real! Likewise, Spinelli accurately and sweetly portrays the lovely kind of friendship that can exist between a boy and a girl who are nine. Dorothy is a strong, marvelous character. For that matter, so is the pet pigeon, Nipper. Highly recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ja

    This book was unique and captivating. It's definitely intended for younger kids, but it's still good all the same. Similar to another of Jerry Spinelli's books, Stargirl, it tells young readers that they don't have to give in to peer pressure. If they don't feel something is right, they need to voice their opinion. This is an important idea to instill at a young age in preparation for teenage-hood, kids need to know that they don't have to follow the crowd, even if it seems as if they're the onl This book was unique and captivating. It's definitely intended for younger kids, but it's still good all the same. Similar to another of Jerry Spinelli's books, Stargirl, it tells young readers that they don't have to give in to peer pressure. If they don't feel something is right, they need to voice their opinion. This is an important idea to instill at a young age in preparation for teenage-hood, kids need to know that they don't have to follow the crowd, even if it seems as if they're the only one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amber Gordon

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “Wringer” is a Newberry Honor contemporary fiction novel that would be appropriate for students in upper elementary or middle school. This novel is about the struggles that a young boy, Palmer, faces when he does not agree with an annual event that is held in his town. Palmer lives in a town that has a Pigeon Day, to raise money for the community’s park. Participants in Pigeon Day have the opportunity to shoot pigeons as they are released in groups of five. The “wringers” are ten year old boys w “Wringer” is a Newberry Honor contemporary fiction novel that would be appropriate for students in upper elementary or middle school. This novel is about the struggles that a young boy, Palmer, faces when he does not agree with an annual event that is held in his town. Palmer lives in a town that has a Pigeon Day, to raise money for the community’s park. Participants in Pigeon Day have the opportunity to shoot pigeons as they are released in groups of five. The “wringers” are ten year old boys who must run onto the field and wring the necks of the birds that were only stunned, not killed, when they were shot out of the sky. He and his friends cause trouble among the town and torment a neighbor girl of Palmer’s named Dorothy. When a pigeon knocks on his window outside his bedroom, Palmer begins feeding the bird and letting it into his room each night. The only person that Palmer believes he can confide in his friend Dorothy as he must hide his new pet “Nipper” from his other friends. Eventually Palmer turns ten and goes to the “training” on how to be a wringer. Palmer becomes determined to protect Nipper and in the end Dorothy releases the pigeon outside the town in order to save his life. Pigeon Day comes and Palmer goes to watch, although he refuses to be a “wringer.” After talking to Dorothy, he eventually figures out that Nipper is probably one of the birds that is going to be released and he is determined to save his pet and take Nipper home with him. I read the “Wringer” for my banned/challenged book. It has been challenged because of the central theme which is wringing the pigeons’ necks. Although this book has been challenged, I still think that is would be a good novel for students to read. I do not think I would ever teach this novel, have activities over it, or use it in a literature circle, but I see no problem with students being able to check it out from the school library to read on their own time. This book provides readers with some important points. It is about a young boy who does not give into peer pressure and stands up for himself when everyone else is determined to follow the town’s rituals. I think it is important students realize it is alright to stand up for what they believe in if they know what is happening is wrong!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    This 1998 Newbery honor book is powerful, poignant and hauntingly beautiful. This is a remarkable story of peer and social pressure, the courage to sort through the quagmire of self doubt until the mud clears and what remains is a crystal clear reflection of self acceptance. Sensitive, animal loving nine year old Palmer LaRue passionately dreads the arrival of his tenth birthday. The rite of passage in his small town is to become a wringer -- a wringer of the necks of pigeons still alive after be This 1998 Newbery honor book is powerful, poignant and hauntingly beautiful. This is a remarkable story of peer and social pressure, the courage to sort through the quagmire of self doubt until the mud clears and what remains is a crystal clear reflection of self acceptance. Sensitive, animal loving nine year old Palmer LaRue passionately dreads the arrival of his tenth birthday. The rite of passage in his small town is to become a wringer -- a wringer of the necks of pigeons still alive after being shot at by the local townsmen. The annual pigeon day is a huge event and Palmer has a decision to make -- should he become a "man," or should he stand alone and say no. Wanting desperately to belong, Palmer abandons his long-term friendship of a neighborhood girl and initially finds a sense of belonging by becoming a member of the in crowd of male bullies where the rite of acceptance is a birthday brutal punch in the arm for every year. Like a medal of honor, Palmer proudly displays his horrific bruises obtained at the hands of a much larger, older boy. Soon, Palmer realizes that he is uncomfortable with both the peers who emotionally and physically harm and the townspeople who once a year maim and kill 5,000 helpless birds. Spinelli does a masterful job of weaving various emotions swirling inside Palmer, especially as Palmer discovers a pigeon on his windowsill and develops a loving relationship with the animal. Returning to his neighborhood friend, he accepts the softer side of himself and once again embraces his friend Dorothy as together they feed and love the animal at the risk of discovery by the bullies and the townspeople. Parker's mother and father are portrayed in a loving way, and his mother in particular shines like a beacon. This book was particularly powerful because of the way the author used the softness of animals and females to guide Parker in his realization that while it is hard to risk non acceptance, it is harder still to say no to what is good, pure and right. Highly recommended. Five Stars!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Noriko

    This is definitely one of the most powerful, emotionally-charged books I've ever read in my entire life. I'm not even exaggerating - I'm all dead serious - this book kept me on tenterhooks with its potent writing which packs such an incredible, strong punch and various emotions - fear, anxiety, affinity and so many more. Once I picked up the book, I could hardly put it down. This book gripped me right from the beginning and never let me go until the very last page. In all honesty, I have never r This is definitely one of the most powerful, emotionally-charged books I've ever read in my entire life. I'm not even exaggerating - I'm all dead serious - this book kept me on tenterhooks with its potent writing which packs such an incredible, strong punch and various emotions - fear, anxiety, affinity and so many more. Once I picked up the book, I could hardly put it down. This book gripped me right from the beginning and never let me go until the very last page. In all honesty, I have never read any children's book like this before. The most noticeable thing about this book is the emotions it delivers. This book is narrated from an omnipotent point of view yet heavily focuses on the protagonist, Palmer, a 9 year-old boy who doesn't want to turn 10 years old and become a wringer - a role to put wounded pigeons out of their misery by wringing their neck - a brutal role that I can possibly imagine. The reluctance and refusal to be a wringer has always been with him and the feelings have only gotten stronger and stronger as he ages. His ten year-old birthday is the day he dreads the most followed by Family Fest where the town holds an event where they release 5,000 pigeons for the sky only to have shooters shoot them down. This event itself disturbed me a lot. Granted, that event generates the money to reinvent the city park, they do that for their community, yet I just couldn't register the rationale of holding such a brutal event, sacrificing innocent lives. Palmer's conflicting emotions are so eloquently depicted in this book. First, his longing to be acknowledged by so-called "cool gangs," Beans, Mutto and Henry and become one of them. and secondly, his friendship with an unexpected roommate, Nipper, a pigeon that wanders into his room one day. It was quite delightful and refreshing to see how they forge and develop their friendship but it doesn't come with only good things. In fact, it sows the seeds of anxiety on Palmer's side. As Palmer's attachment to Nipper gets stronger, so does his fears over the safety of Nipper. Don't kid yourself - Nipper is literally flying over a town where the vast majority of its residents support the pigeon shooting event. My heart went out to Palmer and I had my heart broken so many times as the gang's suspicion of Palmer's keeping Nipper deepens. I was surprised by how potent this story is and how many elements this book deals with. Bullying, friendship, respect of life, and courage to stand tall and say "No" to name a few. The author did an astonishing job of encompassing such many elements into one without being preachy. Everything flows so naturally and smoothly, the message this book conveys is so eloquent and strong, I was kept glued to this book until the very last page. The last chapter was simply captivating packed with so many emotions and tension. I found myself holding a hand over my heart, biting my lip while I was reading it. I could hardly breathe. Man, what a book! Although this is a children's book, the writing and descriptions can be a trigger to some readers. I don't think this book is for the faint of heart but this is undeniably quite a strong, engrossing read! If you haven't read this book and if you are interested, brace yourself, but please do pick up this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kaion

    One thing that Jerry Spinelli really seems to capture well about children—their experience of a larger-than-life world. The ecstasy of a snow day. The stinging annoyance of a neighbor being called a 'friend. The blunt hungry yearning for acceptance. In Maniac Magee, this hyper-reality took the form of the mythic. In Wringer it's visceral, our protagonist's dread of turning ten: 'In his dreams he looks down to find his hands around the neck of the pigeon. It feels silky. The pigeon's eye is like a One thing that Jerry Spinelli really seems to capture well about children—their experience of a larger-than-life world. The ecstasy of a snow day. The stinging annoyance of a neighbor being called a 'friend. The blunt hungry yearning for acceptance. In Maniac Magee, this hyper-reality took the form of the mythic. In Wringer it's visceral, our protagonist's dread of turning ten: 'In his dreams he looks down to find his hands around the neck of the pigeon. It feels silky. The pigeon's eye is like a polished shirt button. The pigeon's eye is orange with a smaller black button in the center. It looks up at him. It does not blink. It seems as if the bird is about to speak, but it does not. Only the voices speak: 'Wring it!' ' In Palmer's town, on the last day of Family Fest, thousands of pigeons are released from cages as live targets in a sharp shooting contest. At ten, he will join the ranks of the 'wringers', the boys responsible for snapping the necks of 'one-point' wounded pigeons. Palmer is turning nine. Palmer is out of birthdays. As it's been well noted, but not nearly often enough, the Pigeon Day of Wringer is clearly modeled on the live pigeon shoot held in Hegins, Pennsylvania every Labor Day until protests shut it down in '99. (Live pigeon shoots are still legal in PA.) On its own merit, Wringer is already a tightly suspenseful, claustrophobic novel: full of wonderful character moments and observational gems that build on its examination of peer pressure. But the truth behind the fiction sort of makes me wonder... maybe we do live in hyper-reality and as adults we've often just gotten too desensitized to see it. Palmer's voice seems to warn us himself: "He would come to it without having to pedal or run or walk or even more a muscle. He would fall smack into the lap of it without doing anything but breathe. In the end he would get there simply by growing one day older." Maybe we need exaggeration —maybe we need fear— to remind us how important it is to not be resigned to the wrongs of the world. Rating: 4.5 stars (Reread July 15, 2009)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    Despite the fact that it rarely shows up on humane-education lists, if I could suggest only one book promoting humane values, it would be Wringer. Obviously inspired by the infamous Hegins Pigeon Shoot, Spinelli weaves the story of a young boy who faces an incredible dilemma: will he follow the path of his peers and become a “wringer” of the necks of injured birds at his town’s annual pigeon shoot, or will he stay true to his values and the wayward pigeon he’s adopted as a pet? The book is told Despite the fact that it rarely shows up on humane-education lists, if I could suggest only one book promoting humane values, it would be Wringer. Obviously inspired by the infamous Hegins Pigeon Shoot, Spinelli weaves the story of a young boy who faces an incredible dilemma: will he follow the path of his peers and become a “wringer” of the necks of injured birds at his town’s annual pigeon shoot, or will he stay true to his values and the wayward pigeon he’s adopted as a pet? The book is told from the perspective of Palmer, a boy who has just turned ten—a milestone he has been dreading. That’s the age when all boys in his town are expected to begin participating in the pigeon shooting event by dispatching wounded birds. The neighborhood crew of adolescent boys—who can best be described as Palmer’s “frenemies,” make things even more difficult for him. And then add into the mix Palmer’s mental struggle over befriending an unpopular, picked-on girl and his desire to protect Nipper, his pet pigeon. From a humane standpoint, there’s so much to like about this book: major themes addressed include bullying, peer pressure, cruelty to animals, staying true to one’s self, and societal expectations. The characters are realistically depicted; both adults and juvenile readers will find something to take away from Wringer. It is an excellent starting point for discussion, especially in a classroom setting. The fact is, Palmer’s dilemma is repeated every fall by countless children in rural America. Hunting is typically introduced to children at an early age; and it’s a safe bet to say that a certain percentage of those children are not thrilled at the thought of taking animals’ lives. The introduction into the hunting culture often comes with “traditional” practices like shooting squirrels—or it may come with a contest pigeon shoot like that featured in “Wringer.” (The aforementioned Hegins shoot was held annually for 64 years before ending in 1998; pigeon shoots still occur at private gun clubs throughout Pennsylvania to this day .) I had to laugh at the angry reviewers on Amazon who were aghast at the book’s violent references and found the entire idea of a pigeon shoot unbelievable. As someone born and raised in the heart of hunting country, I knew the book as something else—honest, and above all, realistic. And after a tidal wave of books in which children upend the systems of adults, I was pleased and relived to finally see a down-to-earth ending. Call me a cynical adult, but I’ve come to the conclusion that media that put all the burdens of heroism on children’s shoulders simply make for dispirited kids. Without giving away too much, the ending is uplifting, but believable. This would be a wonderful book to share in an upper-elementary or middle-school classroom, especially those in rural areas. All students—whether avid or reluctant hunters, or dedicated nonhunters—will find something to relate to in Wringer. It just might encourage some debate, thought, and questioning as well—something humane educators always like to see.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    Cleanliness: Children's Bad Words Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 5 Incidents: dumb, shut up, stupid, phooey Name Calling - 13 Incidents: dumb, stupid, hoodlums, Fishface (all throughout book), Sissymiss! Girlbaby!, pooper Religious Profanities - 1 Incident: Gee Attitudes/Disobedience - 11 Incidents: A boy is a sneak and a troublemaker but a boy befriends him even though his mother doesn’t like it. A group of boys pick on a girl, calling her Fishface, throughout the entire book. The main chara Cleanliness: Children's Bad Words Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 5 Incidents: dumb, shut up, stupid, phooey Name Calling - 13 Incidents: dumb, stupid, hoodlums, Fishface (all throughout book), Sissymiss! Girlbaby!, pooper Religious Profanities - 1 Incident: Gee Attitudes/Disobedience - 11 Incidents: A boy is a sneak and a troublemaker but a boy befriends him even though his mother doesn’t like it. A group of boys pick on a girl, calling her Fishface, throughout the entire book. The main character, out of a desire to be part of the “gang,” picks on her too but stops towards the end of the book. (Prevalent). A boy lies to get out of doing things. (Prevalent). A boy thinks of what his mother told him and disregards it, doing what he wants to do instead. A boy speaks disrespectfully to a lady. A boy pretends to be asleep. A boy sneaks out of his room at night to walk in the streets with his friends. He knows his parents won’t like this. A boy hides a pigeon in his bedroom for months, afraid to tell his parents. He lies constantly to cover up this fact, to his parents, teacher, friends. (Prevalent). A boy sneaks a book out of the library. Boys prank a house by putting a dead muskrat that they microwaved on a neighbor’s doorstep. A boy lies to his teacher, wanting to get in trouble so he says he spit on the floor. When the kids in class hear of it, they idolize him. Romance Related - 10 Incidents: A boy asks his mom to start knocking before entering his room. The mom says: “And you’re a boy and I’m a girl, and you’re getting too big for girls to see you in your underwear, even if the girl is your mother.” A boy and girl are often alone in the boys room. A girl kisses a boy on his nose. A boy explains the reason for his bad behavior is “puberty.” A boy takes off his shirt. A girl squeezes a boy’s finger. A boy grabs a girl’s shoulders roughly. Mentions a boy’s rump. Mentions a pigeon’s breast feathers. Mentions a pigeon’s breast feathers. For a full cleanliness report, which includes Conversation Topics and Parent Takeaway, visit my website. I have hundreds of other detailed reports too, and I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    1998 Newbery Honor Book I wasn't really sure what this book would be about by the cover. It looked a bit like a horror novel. The inside jacket cover description was even more vague. It sounded more and more like it would be scary. Fortunately, it wasn't. The main character is Palmer. He turns 9 at the beginning of the book and has been accepted into a gang of boys named Beans, Mutto and Henry. They nickname him Snots. His mother doesn't approve of them. Honestly, they're punks. In the city that Pa 1998 Newbery Honor Book I wasn't really sure what this book would be about by the cover. It looked a bit like a horror novel. The inside jacket cover description was even more vague. It sounded more and more like it would be scary. Fortunately, it wasn't. The main character is Palmer. He turns 9 at the beginning of the book and has been accepted into a gang of boys named Beans, Mutto and Henry. They nickname him Snots. His mother doesn't approve of them. Honestly, they're punks. In the city that Palmer lives, they have a massive pigeon shoot every year. It gives him nightmares. When he turns 10, he knows he's expected to help wring the pigeons' necks to kill them after they've been shot down (hence, "wringer"). He doesn't want to do this. A pigeon shows up at his window. It becomes his pet but he's afraid of the boys finding out and he's afraid of it getting shot too. It was a nice little book about standing up for yourself and refusing to do something because "everyone else is doing it."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dimitri

    Read only once in my youth: the whole idea of wringing a pigeon's neck as a rite of passage was so far removed from my world that it horrified me...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jaden

    A classmate told me I should read this book and I'm so glad she did! By the looks of it, it isn't a book I would ever pick up, even after reading the back I didn't like it. I started reading it and I loved it. I'm sad that I finished it so quick, I never wanted it to end. Wringer is now one of my favorite books, I want to go back and reread it already!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Devon Skube

    it was bad so I abandoned it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    My son selected this for Family Book Group. He prefers what he terms "realistic fiction" and Jerry Spinelli is one of his favorite authors. Like some of his other titles, this one is about finding your true self and identifying your real friends. Palmer's isolation is anguishing - it's very hard for me (as an adult) to read about him running around with his thuggish friends and working so hard to appear to be something he isn't. It was also hard to me to accept that the adults in his life wouldn' My son selected this for Family Book Group. He prefers what he terms "realistic fiction" and Jerry Spinelli is one of his favorite authors. Like some of his other titles, this one is about finding your true self and identifying your real friends. Palmer's isolation is anguishing - it's very hard for me (as an adult) to read about him running around with his thuggish friends and working so hard to appear to be something he isn't. It was also hard to me to accept that the adults in his life wouldn't intervene - his teachers and parents clearly recognized something was wrong, but didn't do much to help him find his way. That said, I appreciated that the parents showed some growth during the novel. The dad, especially, comes to realize that his son might not feel the same as he did at that age. I thought his quiet, caring, companionship with Palmer during Family Fest was especially poignant: During the week his father said many things, mostly with his hands. He rubbed Palmer's hair and squeezed his shoulder and tugged on his shirt and tickled his ribs and pulled him backward with a finger hooked in the back pocket of his jeans and lightly brushed the side of his neck with his fingertips as he stopped and chatted with friends. Each of these things had a different meaning to Palmer and yet the same - a language unlearned, of words unheard, that came to roost at some warm and waiting perch far below his ears. (206) For me, Dorothy is a real hero of the book. She put up with Palmer when he and his friends mocked her. She called him on his sh*t (maybe a little too late, but she did it). And she was a real friend when he returned to her later. Dorothy is the friend I'd want if I were ten again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Ummm..... I did not like this book. 1. Bullies - Bean and his crew were disgusting and they never got punished for it. 2. Palmer - He was stressful to read about. 3. Setting - I thought this book was set in the fifties but later uncovered it was actually set in the 90s. What in the world?? That made all the behaviors even less acceptable. 4. The Treatment - Again, why is nobody stopping this?? Where are the adults in this godforsaken town? Off shooting more pigeons? 5. The End - It was fairly con Ummm..... I did not like this book. 1. Bullies - Bean and his crew were disgusting and they never got punished for it. 2. Palmer - He was stressful to read about. 3. Setting - I thought this book was set in the fifties but later uncovered it was actually set in the 90s. What in the world?? That made all the behaviors even less acceptable. 4. The Treatment - Again, why is nobody stopping this?? Where are the adults in this godforsaken town? Off shooting more pigeons? 5. The End - It was fairly confusing and unsatisfying. I would never recommend this or read it again. It was pretty terrible. I gave it two stars because I loved Palmer's parents in the end. I like Jerry Spinelli, but not this weirdo book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I learned that there are things you can't share with people all the time. Even though this would be an issue I can share I found in my own life I have things I can't talk about with anyone because of the way they will think about me...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fox

    The cover of this book positively haunted me when I was young but I never took the time to read it. I'm kind of happy I waited until I was older to give it a go... this book is rough and dark, but also disturbingly necessary. After all, I'm only one state away from where pigeon shoots are still legal. And it was only in the 2000s that some of the larger ones came under uncomfortable scrutiny. And wringers are young boys... The whole notion of this book may seem to many like an odd one. A young bo The cover of this book positively haunted me when I was young but I never took the time to read it. I'm kind of happy I waited until I was older to give it a go... this book is rough and dark, but also disturbingly necessary. After all, I'm only one state away from where pigeon shoots are still legal. And it was only in the 2000s that some of the larger ones came under uncomfortable scrutiny. And wringers are young boys... The whole notion of this book may seem to many like an odd one. A young boy fears his 10th birthday, knowing that as soon as it comes he'll have to be a wringer. And what is a wringer? It's a job for young boys, and them only. They're the ones who run onto the field during a pigeon shoot, grab the dead and wounded pigeons, and wring their necks if they're only wounded. Putting the pigeons out of their misery quickly and humanely. But why shoot the pigeons in the first place? Why are pigeons hated? Pigeons are one of those weird birds that are almost universally hated. But what are they really? If you get to know them, they're personable, sweet, agreeable birds. They're trainable, clever in their own way, and calming. They're lovely, for the most part, and wholly undeserving of their scorn. The book is clever in even tying in the passenger pigeon and their manmade extinction. It's a harrowing book, but a powerful one. I can imagine it being all the more impactful if you read it young, and in a place where such things are still practiced.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stevie Sullivan

    Wringer by Jerry Spinelli is a story about a nine year old boy named Palmer LaRue. Palmer is nervous about turning the age of 10 because he will become a wringer. A wringer is a boy that wrings necks of injured pigeons during his towns annual Pigeon Day, where they shoot pigeons. Palmer does not want to become a wringer, but he wants the neighborhood boys to like him. This book is overall pretty good. It used good wording and description, which I really enjoyed. The only thing is that it is easy Wringer by Jerry Spinelli is a story about a nine year old boy named Palmer LaRue. Palmer is nervous about turning the age of 10 because he will become a wringer. A wringer is a boy that wrings necks of injured pigeons during his towns annual Pigeon Day, where they shoot pigeons. Palmer does not want to become a wringer, but he wants the neighborhood boys to like him. This book is overall pretty good. It used good wording and description, which I really enjoyed. The only thing is that it is easy to get lost in the book, since there is a lot of events. Overall, I would recommend this book to 6th grade kids.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Subjects like toxic masculinity are barely ever explored in books and I'm so glad this one did, its a really great book by a good author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeannnette Merlos

    This was a good book. It was suspenseful in some parts and heart warming in others. I didn't expect the book to be about what it was about, but i don't regret it. It was good and I enjoyed it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily Maughan

    3.5 stars. Quick read for my vacation. I liked it and my daughter just started reading it too.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michal

    A bit too weird for me. Didn’t finish.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ktnace

    Mr. Spinelli writes great books!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jasminecline

    I thought that it was interesting because of the life chooses Palmer decides to do. I would read this book again.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hickey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Wringer Jerry Spinnelli The book is about a kid named Palmer. He is almost nine years old. He has two friends that are Henry and Beans. They are the trouble makers of the neighborhood. They nickname Palmer Snots.He is about to turn nine. When the day does come, he goes out and plays with his friends. The see a bigger kid on the playground. He comes over and says he has to give him nine licks, so he punches his arm nine times. Palmer gets a really big bruise from it, and he goes around town sho The Wringer Jerry Spinnelli The book is about a kid named Palmer. He is almost nine years old. He has two friends that are Henry and Beans. They are the trouble makers of the neighborhood. They nickname Palmer Snots.He is about to turn nine. When the day does come, he goes out and plays with his friends. The see a bigger kid on the playground. He comes over and says he has to give him nine licks, so he punches his arm nine times. Palmer gets a really big bruise from it, and he goes around town showing it off. There is a special day in the town Palmer lives in called Pigeon Day. It is a day where thousands of pigeons are killed by local people in the city's park. Palmer is afraid of this day. Unlike most people in his town, he likes pigeon. Ten year old boys in the town can be neck wringers. They snap the neck of the wounded pigeons in the field. When this day comes, he is terrified even though he cannot be a wringer yet. He spends most of that day at the park with a girl named Dorthy. She is his neighbor that is younger than him. Weeks after Pigeon Day, Palmer awakes to pecks on his window. It's a pigeon. He is shocked but takes it into his house. He keeps it like a pet He feeds it and cleans up after it. His parents find out about the Pigeon but lets Palmer keep it. Another Pigeon Day creeps up and Palmer gets scared. He talks to Dorthy and they decide to release the pigeon named Nipper. They went to release Nipper, but the released his at the railroad tracks. That is where they store and shoot the pigeons. They don't realize this until it is Pigeon Day. They go to the shootings to see if they could get Nipper back. They go and see Nipper but he is injured. Palmer goes and gets him and walks through a booing crowd with it. He also hears a little boy ask his dad if he could have a pigeon too. I would rate this book at 5 stars because it is so good. I read it a long time ago but reread it. It tells about all that is happening in Palmer's life and how he finds a way to find his real self. The book is just really good and show that Palmer's actions could maybe change Pigeon Day. This book was an amazing book and i liked it a lot. This book is at a lower reading level. This book is intended for a younger crowd. The book is for people 10 to 20 years old.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Once more, in his characteristic style, Jerry Spinelli shows why he is one of my favorite authors. This inspirational, heartbreaking novel uses a strange approach to celebrate the power of friendship, love, and respect for life. Palmer is terrified of his tenth birthday. The fateful day when he will be old enough to become a wringer, one of the boys charged with helping out on the day of the city's great Pigeon Day Shoot, breaking the necks of the innocent birds. Every other boy anticipates this Once more, in his characteristic style, Jerry Spinelli shows why he is one of my favorite authors. This inspirational, heartbreaking novel uses a strange approach to celebrate the power of friendship, love, and respect for life. Palmer is terrified of his tenth birthday. The fateful day when he will be old enough to become a wringer, one of the boys charged with helping out on the day of the city's great Pigeon Day Shoot, breaking the necks of the innocent birds. Every other boy anticipates this milestone, but Palmer can hardly stand it. Then he picks up a very unlikely friend of his own; a charming, mischievous and intelligent pigeon he names Nipper. But for obvious reasons, Nipper must remain a complete secret, or someone will inevitably use him as just one more practice bird to kill. Meanwhile, Palmer navigates the hideous training of the wringer along with his peers, who are only too eager to accept the practice of violence with delight. He also befriends his outgoing neighbor Dorothy, who seems to understand his reluctance, and teaches him something about standing up for yourself. But when the day of the Pigeon Shoot arrives...will Palmer be able to save Nipper? I cry each time I read this book, from the scenes of ignorant brutality to the heartwarming moments of utter triumph. I felt for Palmer's character, and I loved the charming and unique personality of Nipper, who sometimes seemed just as human as the other characters. The ending isn't perfect, but the tears you'll shed will be of happiness, if you're anything like me. And most of all, the ending, like those of Spinelli's other books like "Stargirl" and "The Library Card," is bright with hope, the best thing a book can leave you with.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    Wringer by Jerry Spinelli 265 pages realistic fiction This book is about a boy named Palmer Who has a love for pigeons. On his 10th birthday he became friends with three kids named beans Mutto and Henry. These kids are the normal kids there because they hate pigeons. In his town they have a family fest that has kids having fun with there kids doing fun things and then on the last day there is a day where they shoot and wring pigeons in the neck. Palmer hates this but his friends love it and Palme Wringer by Jerry Spinelli 265 pages realistic fiction This book is about a boy named Palmer Who has a love for pigeons. On his 10th birthday he became friends with three kids named beans Mutto and Henry. These kids are the normal kids there because they hate pigeons. In his town they have a family fest that has kids having fun with there kids doing fun things and then on the last day there is a day where they shoot and wring pigeons in the neck. Palmer hates this but his friends love it and Palmer wont tell them that he doesn't want to become a wringer. One day a pigeon came to his house and Palmer gave it food not thinking about what might happen. obviously the pigeon came back and this time it came inside his house. Palmer knew it is now his pet. Although He now had the struggle of hiding it from his friends. on the week before family fest he decided he had to get rid of his pigeon named Nipper. He had his one friend who knew about him and him and they let Nipper go miles and miles away. The next night Nipper was there. so he just had his friend let him go. on the day of family fest Palmer found out his friend let Nipper go at the place where they catch them to shoot. Palmer finds Nipper and saves him. This is the best book I have ever read. It really made me love pigeons. It has that emotional side of the book that really lets you feel the pain Palmer has from that little bird. This is my favorite author and he is a great one to. He is great at describing what happened to Palmer and it so well written and uses great imagry and I will reccomend this to anyyone!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Kammerman

    I could not put his book down and I truly believe that it deserved that Caldecott Medal. This book was a mesmerizing morality tale about a young boy who goes by the name of Palmer who cannot make sense of it. The book starts off with Palmers upcoming tenth birthday and in his town 10 year old boys turn into wringers. A wringer is someone who break the necks of "wounded pigeons" at the towns Pigeon day shoot. This was not the only big thing that was going to happen to Palmer, when you turn ten yo I could not put his book down and I truly believe that it deserved that Caldecott Medal. This book was a mesmerizing morality tale about a young boy who goes by the name of Palmer who cannot make sense of it. The book starts off with Palmers upcoming tenth birthday and in his town 10 year old boys turn into wringers. A wringer is someone who break the necks of "wounded pigeons" at the towns Pigeon day shoot. This was not the only big thing that was going to happen to Palmer, when you turn ten you also get accepted by the neighborhood bullies, Beans, Mutto, and Henry and Palmer was give the nickname, Snots. There was one thing that Palmer did not like about becoming Ten, he dreads of becoming a wringer. One day a stray Pigeon comes tapping on his window and the pigeon runs into his closet and wont leave. In a town that murders pigeons Palmer knew this was not going to be a good idea keeping the Pigeon in his house. Palmer then asks his friends, or neighbor, Dorothy for help but she accidentally sets the bird free where it is captured this leading this story to the unexpected climax. In my opinion I believe that this was a great book and I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fast and enjoyable read. I believe that during your read, you can connect with many different character according to your personality and since this was realistic it was easier to make connections with the "real" world. Personally I thought that the author executed this book really well and I give this book a 4.5/5 as it was one of a really good book, and I would gladly read this book another time again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Snyder

    Before I even started reading this book I had the question what is a wringer. Throughout the book, I found myself asking many questions which, like any good book, were answered and didn't leave me confused. The vocabulary in the book was simple, but the Wringer had a good message. The book was interesting because it is not what I would usually read. *Spoiler alert* In the book, Wringer, the main character Palmer starts out by telling the reader that he doesn't want to be a wringer. Later you lear Before I even started reading this book I had the question what is a wringer. Throughout the book, I found myself asking many questions which, like any good book, were answered and didn't leave me confused. The vocabulary in the book was simple, but the Wringer had a good message. The book was interesting because it is not what I would usually read. *Spoiler alert* In the book, Wringer, the main character Palmer starts out by telling the reader that he doesn't want to be a wringer. Later you learn that 'wringer' is the person that, on Pigeon Day, wrings the necks of any pigeon not killed after being shot. Every boy in Palmer's town becomes a wringer when they turn 10. Palmer knows that he does not want to do this, but he also knows that it will be difficult to break tradition. His life is further complicated when a pigeon flies to his house and he keeps it as a pet. When Beans and his gang, who had recently become some of Palmer's best friends, find out about Palmer's pigeon, Nipper, they do not react well. Throughout this all, Palmer's true friend, Dorothy is the only one Palmer trusted enough to tell all his problems to. Palmer learns to do what feels right to him, even if it's the uncommon choice. I had already read the book Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli and enjoyed it. Jerry Spinelli used a very different writing style in the Wringer than in Jake and Lily. Based on the two of his books that I have read, it seems that he may usually write for students in 5th or 6th grade.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Davis

    Another beautiful, supremely poignant work from the rich pen of Jerry Spinelli. Here you don't have to be a lover or hater of Spinelli's style as I've commented on before; oh yes, it's still there, and the writing is very poetic with dark undertones, but Maniac Magee and Hokey Pokey seem to have those half-unexplained, almost grim plot devices and flow that seems to repel some people. Wringer has it more so; less so (tough to explain, I know.) But the plot is executed so simply yet so wonderfull Another beautiful, supremely poignant work from the rich pen of Jerry Spinelli. Here you don't have to be a lover or hater of Spinelli's style as I've commented on before; oh yes, it's still there, and the writing is very poetic with dark undertones, but Maniac Magee and Hokey Pokey seem to have those half-unexplained, almost grim plot devices and flow that seems to repel some people. Wringer has it more so; less so (tough to explain, I know.) But the plot is executed so simply yet so wonderfully, the poignancy hides and reveals itself towards the end, and the characters are gorgeously developed. This isn't the first book I've read with pigeons as a focal point (One Came Home by Amy Timberlake is an excellent mystery story concerning carrier pigeons), but the originality is not compromised whatsoever. Spinelli doesn't feel inclined to whack you upside the head with an uber-weepy ending, but he carries the power subtly and releases it magnificently. This review is sounding a bit corny. I think I've expressed my love for this one enough, so I'll kindly stop typing and boost Jerry Spinelli a little higher on my list of all-time favorite writers.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jolene Munch

    To be totally honest when I first saw the book cover I was a bit terrified. This was because I just saw a child's face and in big font was the word Wringer. I didn't know what to expect, so I always read the synopsis at that back of the book. After reading it, it sounded really interesting except, I honestly had no clue what a wringer was! I thought a wringer was a good thing but after reading the first chapter I thought wrong. I've also never heard of the author Jerry Spinelli until this summer To be totally honest when I first saw the book cover I was a bit terrified. This was because I just saw a child's face and in big font was the word Wringer. I didn't know what to expect, so I always read the synopsis at that back of the book. After reading it, it sounded really interesting except, I honestly had no clue what a wringer was! I thought a wringer was a good thing but after reading the first chapter I thought wrong. I've also never heard of the author Jerry Spinelli until this summer. When I first opened the book tons of questions were already gonna threw my head like, why does he not want to turn ten and who is the visitor at the window? By then I was confused because I don't think humans come to your window, so it must have been an animal. While reading the book, all my questions got answered and it all made sense. I finally got to learn what a wringer was! In the end, It wasn't my favorite book, but I did like it a lot.

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