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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'll take his place beside all the other ten-year-old boys in town, the day he'll be a wringer. But Palmer doesn't want to be a wringer. It's one of the first things he learned about himself and it's one of the biggest things he has to hide. In Palmer's town being a wringer is an honor, a tradition passed down from father to son. Palmer can't stop himself from being a wringer just like he can't stop himself from growing one year older, just like he can't stand up to a whole town -- right? Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli's most powerful novel yet is a gripping tale of how one boy learns how not to be afraid.

Topics: Animals, Peer Pressure, Bullying, Coming of Age, Courage, Friendship, Birds, Realistic, Suspenseful, Psychological, Third Person Narration, Small Town, Pennsylvania, and Based on a True Story

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061757525
List price: $7.99
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Although this book is obviously created by a great author (great descriptions of situations), the plot is strange. But the way the author puts you in the same kind of situation 9 and 10 year old boys are in and explains the emotions so in depth that you feel the same, you can't help but enjoy the content even if the story is pretty unique.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Brilliant! One of the best children's novels ever.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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!!!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a very powerful book for both adults and children. It is a tremendous piece of children's literature.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Palmer LaRue is supposed to become a pigeon wringer when he turns ten like every other boy in his town, but when a pigeon shows up at his bedroom window, he changes how things work in his town. Palmer is very easy for young people to associate with, as he gets picked on a lot and is unsure of his future. The setting is not determined, which makes it more applicable to the average youth. The theme is to not be afraid of being different, and you can control your future. Spinelli's style is accurate to the situation and the readers. I would include this in my collection.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The portrayal of bullying in this story rang true for me - it reminded me of the gangs of girls that plagued my schoolyard. But there was a vague air of unreality about the story - possibly because my rose-coloured eyeballs had trouble imagining a town that would so actively support the violence of the pigeon shooting day.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I would classify this as realistic fiction. It is about a society that could exist, in which their sport is shooting pigeons on a festival day. I don’t know of any society like this in real life, but the concept is not completely unbelievable and the characters are relatable. Students will be able to relate to feeling lonely and being bullied and wanting to be accepted in their culture.Age Appropriateness: MiddleMedia: N/Aread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Palmer is not looking forward to his 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. He is squemish at the thought of killing a wounded pigeon in the first place, but after he rescues a stray one and keeps it as a pet, he doesn't know what to do. Should he bow to peer pressure or stand up for what he believes is right?The whole concept of this book just seemed kind of icky to me. I'm not a fan of Lord of the Flies, either. I much preferred Stargirl and its sequel, Love Stargirl.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This troubling story about meanness, peer pressure and living up to others' expectations might be well-received by many boys. I, myself, did not like it that much. Poor pigeons!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book tells the story of Palmer, a boy who must decide to succumb to peer pressure or stand up for what he believes in. I'm pretty sure I read this book in elementary school, but I think the ideas could also translate to high school. What high schooler hasn't felt peer pressure? There could be many discussions about peer pressure in general and what to do when it happens. I think it would be a good conversation starter, even if we weren't necessarily talking about the details of the book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The book left me hanging and left a precious moral- to always follow your dream and have faith. Spenelli is not only a writer, he's a writer with a heart, like his characters.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This novel is about a boy who is dreading his 10th Birthday. In the town where he grew up, boys become wringers on their 10th Birthday. Wringers are boys who break the neck of wounded pigeons. These pigeons are wounded on Pigeon Day when people pay money to shoot at these birds. Palmer wanted to be different and fought with his inner feelings about acceptance or individuality. He really doesn't want to become a wringer when he saves a pigeon and it becomes his pet.I think this book is a good book to explain that it is okay to be different and to always follow what you believe in. Its nice to have friends but true friends will not make you conform. Bullies are always a problem for school-aged children so this would be perfect to read.I would start a discussion with my classroom and tell them that it is okay to do what you believe in. As long as they are not breaking the rules or get in trouble. On the brighter side, I would start another discussion to see if any of my students have ever had a pet they loved dearly.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wringer is the story of a boy named Palmer trying to "fit in". The town he lives in has a once a year pigeon-shooting money raiser. Pigeons that are still alive, but injured must be "put out of their misery" by ten year old "wringers" When Plamer, who will soon be ten, develops an unlikely friendship with a pigeon, problems arise. He eventually must choose between the town and his own beloved pigeon. He has only moments to decide what matters most, the "respect" of the town or his feathered friend "Nipper".When I was about 7, my much older brother brought me a gosling. He was the cutest, clumsiest thing. When he became a grown goose, he began to shed feathers all over the yard. My mom told me if I didn't keep the feathers picked up, he would have to go. I didn't, so he did. My feathered friend is still alive in my memory and I could relate very well to Palmer's feelings for Nipper.As a classroom extension, I would introduce a study about carrier pigeons. We would discuss their characteristics, diet and their important work carrying messages. We would also track some of their flights on a map.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is about a boy who wants to fit in. Once accepted into a group of boys he realizes that he doesn’t like the things that they do. He has an inner struggle with what to do. During this time he befriends a pigeon. This goes against all the rules of a town that shoots pigeons.This book had a scary looking cover. There could be several different lessons pulled from this book. It is a good book to use on being yourself and following your own beliefs.A good classroom extension would be to discuss bullying and the self-confidence that the boy needed to stand up and do what he believed was right. Next I would have the students write a story continuing “Wringer”. I would ask what do you think the boy will do now? How will he act? Do you think he started a new trend in his community? Do you think people will treat him different now?read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is an endearing story of a boy who learns to stand up for himself. There were moments of compassion and moments of torment, both depicted with clarity and a true understanding of childhood. I loved the characterization of both male and female characters, as well as parent and child.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is about a boy who is dreading his tenth birthday. The tenth birthday marks the day a boy decides if he is going to be a wringer or not. Being a wringer means the boy has to strangle a pigeon that was wounded from the towns pigeon day. This is a tradition passed down from father to son. The only problem for the little boy is that he has a pet pigeon and and is trying to find the courage to stand up for what he believes in and say, "no".read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
All boys once they turn 10 have to be 'wringers' in the annual Pigeon Hunt. Palmer doesn't want to do this in fact he is hiding a pet pigeon. His friends are applying a lot of pressure. What will he do?read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Awesome book...it has many interesting details. It's scary at some points, but sometimes it's funny. I like how the boy stands up for what he believes in. I don't really think that the picture on the cover explains what the story would be about. At first, I thought it was a horror story, but it wasn't.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Although this book is obviously created by a great author (great descriptions of situations), the plot is strange. But the way the author puts you in the same kind of situation 9 and 10 year old boys are in and explains the emotions so in depth that you feel the same, you can't help but enjoy the content even if the story is pretty unique.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Brilliant! One of the best children's novels ever.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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!!!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a very powerful book for both adults and children. It is a tremendous piece of children's literature.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Palmer LaRue is supposed to become a pigeon wringer when he turns ten like every other boy in his town, but when a pigeon shows up at his bedroom window, he changes how things work in his town. Palmer is very easy for young people to associate with, as he gets picked on a lot and is unsure of his future. The setting is not determined, which makes it more applicable to the average youth. The theme is to not be afraid of being different, and you can control your future. Spinelli's style is accurate to the situation and the readers. I would include this in my collection.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The portrayal of bullying in this story rang true for me - it reminded me of the gangs of girls that plagued my schoolyard. But there was a vague air of unreality about the story - possibly because my rose-coloured eyeballs had trouble imagining a town that would so actively support the violence of the pigeon shooting day.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I would classify this as realistic fiction. It is about a society that could exist, in which their sport is shooting pigeons on a festival day. I don’t know of any society like this in real life, but the concept is not completely unbelievable and the characters are relatable. Students will be able to relate to feeling lonely and being bullied and wanting to be accepted in their culture.Age Appropriateness: MiddleMedia: N/A
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Palmer is not looking forward to his 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. He is squemish at the thought of killing a wounded pigeon in the first place, but after he rescues a stray one and keeps it as a pet, he doesn't know what to do. Should he bow to peer pressure or stand up for what he believes is right?The whole concept of this book just seemed kind of icky to me. I'm not a fan of Lord of the Flies, either. I much preferred Stargirl and its sequel, Love Stargirl.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This troubling story about meanness, peer pressure and living up to others' expectations might be well-received by many boys. I, myself, did not like it that much. Poor pigeons!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book tells the story of Palmer, a boy who must decide to succumb to peer pressure or stand up for what he believes in. I'm pretty sure I read this book in elementary school, but I think the ideas could also translate to high school. What high schooler hasn't felt peer pressure? There could be many discussions about peer pressure in general and what to do when it happens. I think it would be a good conversation starter, even if we weren't necessarily talking about the details of the book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The book left me hanging and left a precious moral- to always follow your dream and have faith. Spenelli is not only a writer, he's a writer with a heart, like his characters.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This novel is about a boy who is dreading his 10th Birthday. In the town where he grew up, boys become wringers on their 10th Birthday. Wringers are boys who break the neck of wounded pigeons. These pigeons are wounded on Pigeon Day when people pay money to shoot at these birds. Palmer wanted to be different and fought with his inner feelings about acceptance or individuality. He really doesn't want to become a wringer when he saves a pigeon and it becomes his pet.I think this book is a good book to explain that it is okay to be different and to always follow what you believe in. Its nice to have friends but true friends will not make you conform. Bullies are always a problem for school-aged children so this would be perfect to read.I would start a discussion with my classroom and tell them that it is okay to do what you believe in. As long as they are not breaking the rules or get in trouble. On the brighter side, I would start another discussion to see if any of my students have ever had a pet they loved dearly.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wringer is the story of a boy named Palmer trying to "fit in". The town he lives in has a once a year pigeon-shooting money raiser. Pigeons that are still alive, but injured must be "put out of their misery" by ten year old "wringers" When Plamer, who will soon be ten, develops an unlikely friendship with a pigeon, problems arise. He eventually must choose between the town and his own beloved pigeon. He has only moments to decide what matters most, the "respect" of the town or his feathered friend "Nipper".When I was about 7, my much older brother brought me a gosling. He was the cutest, clumsiest thing. When he became a grown goose, he began to shed feathers all over the yard. My mom told me if I didn't keep the feathers picked up, he would have to go. I didn't, so he did. My feathered friend is still alive in my memory and I could relate very well to Palmer's feelings for Nipper.As a classroom extension, I would introduce a study about carrier pigeons. We would discuss their characteristics, diet and their important work carrying messages. We would also track some of their flights on a map.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is about a boy who wants to fit in. Once accepted into a group of boys he realizes that he doesn’t like the things that they do. He has an inner struggle with what to do. During this time he befriends a pigeon. This goes against all the rules of a town that shoots pigeons.This book had a scary looking cover. There could be several different lessons pulled from this book. It is a good book to use on being yourself and following your own beliefs.A good classroom extension would be to discuss bullying and the self-confidence that the boy needed to stand up and do what he believed was right. Next I would have the students write a story continuing “Wringer”. I would ask what do you think the boy will do now? How will he act? Do you think he started a new trend in his community? Do you think people will treat him different now?
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is an endearing story of a boy who learns to stand up for himself. There were moments of compassion and moments of torment, both depicted with clarity and a true understanding of childhood. I loved the characterization of both male and female characters, as well as parent and child.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is about a boy who is dreading his tenth birthday. The tenth birthday marks the day a boy decides if he is going to be a wringer or not. Being a wringer means the boy has to strangle a pigeon that was wounded from the towns pigeon day. This is a tradition passed down from father to son. The only problem for the little boy is that he has a pet pigeon and and is trying to find the courage to stand up for what he believes in and say, "no".
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
All boys once they turn 10 have to be 'wringers' in the annual Pigeon Hunt. Palmer doesn't want to do this in fact he is hiding a pet pigeon. His friends are applying a lot of pressure. What will he do?
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Awesome book...it has many interesting details. It's scary at some points, but sometimes it's funny. I like how the boy stands up for what he believes in. I don't really think that the picture on the cover explains what the story would be about. At first, I thought it was a horror story, but it wasn't.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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