Wringer (Joanna Colter Books)

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9780060249144: Wringer (Joanna Colter Books)

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.

01 Blue Spruce Award Masterlist (YA Cat.)

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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.

About the Author:

Jerry Spinelli is the author of Maniac Magee,winner of the 1991 Newbery Medal. He lives with his wife in Phoenixville, PA.In His Own Words...

"If you were standing on the corner of George and Oak Streets in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on a particular morning in 1949, you would have heard a jangling noise coming down George. You would have turned to see a little kid totally decked out in a cowboy outfit: ten-gallon hat, studded shirt, jodhpurs, twin golden cap pistols, white holsters, red bullets, boots and-the source of the jangling-spurs.

"As the kid clanked on by, you might have wondered if you had forgotten that this was Halloween. It wasn't. It was just an ordinary school day, and the little kid was me. I wanted to be a cowboy, and when I woke up that morning, I guess I just couldn't wait one day longer.

"I remember Miss Davis, my third grade teacher, smiling down at me in the front row and asking if there was something I would like to do for the class. I said yes, there was. Whereupon I got up, stood before my classmates and belted out "I've Got Spurs that jingle Jangle Jingle."

"I never did grow up to be a cowboy Nor did I realize ambitions to become a printer, a fighter pilot, a biologist or a baseball player. But I did become plenty of other neat things. I became a terrific, never-give-up-till-the-caboose railroad car-counter. And an intrepid berry-picker. And a fearless salamander-hunter. And a night sky-swooner. And a husband to one and father to six.

"And a writer. Which turns out to be the best career of all, because in telling my stories I can be all those things I ever did and did not become--and live in Phoenixville, just ten miles from Norristown."

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