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.
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From School Library Journal
Palmer dreads his 10th birthday, when he will become a "wringer," trained to wring the necks of pigeons gunned down in an annual shooting contest. The thought of killing the birds sickens him, as does the bullying behavior of his three buddies. When Palmer makes a pet of a stray pigeon, he struggles to find the courage needed to confront his peers and act according to his conscience. A moral drama sure to engage young readers and promote classroom discussion. A Newbery Honor selection.
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