Wringer (Summer Reading Edition)

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9780060739485: Wringer (Summer Reading Edition)
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Newbery Honor Book * ALA Notable Children's Book

"Deeply felt. Presents a moral question with great care and sensitivity." —The New York Times

"A spellbinding story about rites of passage." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A realistic story with the intensity of a fable." —The Horn Book (starred review)

"Thought-provoking." —School Library Journal (starred review)

In Palmer LaRue's hometown of Waymer, turning ten is the biggest event of a boy's life. But for Palmer, his tenth birthday is not something to look forward to, but something to dread. 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.

Wringer is a powerful tour de force from Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli.

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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 did not want to be a wringer.

Palmer LaRue is rnning 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.

This thing, this not wanting to be a wringer, did it ever knock him from his bike? Unite his sneaker lace? Call him a name? Stand up and fight?

Palmer thinks that becoming a wringer is something he can't stop...until the day a visitor shows up at his window.

It was simply, merely there, a whisper of featherwings, reminding him of the moment he dreaded above all others.

Should he open the window?

In his dreams the moment had already come.

Should he invite fear into his room?

In his dreams he looks down to find his hands around the neck of the pigeon.

What is it like to be hated?

For much of his life Palmer Larue had felt he was standing at the edge of a black, bottomless hole. On the fifty-ninth day before his tenth birthday, he fell in.

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.

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