|Author: Jerry Spinelli|
|As Palmer comes of age, he must either accept the violence of being a wringer at his towns annual Pigeon Day or find the courage to oppose it. A Newbery Honor Book. Reissue. *Author: Spinelli, Jerry *Publication Date: 2004/09/01 *Number of Pages: 227 *Binding Type: Paperbound *Grade Level: 4-6 *Language: English *Depth: 0.50 *Width: 4.25 *Height: 6.75|
From the Publisher:
He was not aware that he ever stopped crying.In his sleep a voice echoed down the long dark barrel of a cannon: You have run out of birthdays. In the morning he awoke suddenly to a flutter of wings.
Birthdays are an obsession where Palmer comes from, but if turning a year older means initiation into a violent practice he despises, he'd rather not. Unfortunately, Palmer cannot stop time any more than he can change tradition. So as this next and most important birthday approaches, Palmer knows that it's now or never. Something must be done.
Palmer LaRue will soon turn 10, a date he has been dreading for his whole life. Palmer is supposed to become a wringer, which is an honored part of the town's Pigeon Day. As thousands of pigeons are released in the town park, ten to 20 at a time, local men compete to see who can shoot down the most birds. Wringers are the town's 10-year-old boys who destroy the pigeons that have been wounded, by wringing their necks. Palmer wants no part in killing the birds, but doesn't know how to refuse participation in this town tradition, one that his friends all eagerly anticipate. Then Palmer meets Nipper, a pigeon that seems to seek Palmer out. In a town where pigeons are hated, Palmer puts his own reputation at stake by protecting his secret pet, an act which eventually helps him find the courage to defy the violence of Pigeon Day.
"'Wringer' has some grim passages describing the slaughter of the pigeons, and some rather stock characterizations, but this is a well-plotted, readable story. Spinelli's message is a hopeful one--even a 10-year-old child can make the right choice and turn away from cruelty and violence." - Marilyn Sachs 12/28/1997 Kirkus Reviews
"A story both comic and disturbing, this is lit by Palmer's growing courage and Dorothy's surprising loyalty." 06/15/1997 New York Times Book Review
"Perhaps best known for his novel 'Maniac Magee,' which won the 1991 Newbery Medal, Spinelli has produced in 'Wringer' a story both less antic and more deeply felt than that earlier work....While Beans and Mutto are cartoonish figures, the adults in 'Wringer' are fully imagined. Some of them are even kind. There's real life here on both sides of the firing line." - Benjamin Cheever 11/16/1997 Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Spinelli has a knack for characterization that serves him will in this oddly frightening, creepily believable novel." - Janice M. Del Negro October 1997