Wringer will Blow Your Mind AND Break Your Heart

9 Sep

Let me ask you one simple question:  How do you feel about disappointing your dad?  Better yet, how do you feel about disappointing your best friends?

How far would you go, though, to make your father and your friends happy?

Would you do ANYTHING to please the people that you care the most about?

Those are exactly the kinds of questions that Palmer LaRue, a boy growing up in a rural Pennsylvania town defined by one horrible tradition:  The annual Pigeon Day Shoot in the town park, where dads shoot birds out of the sky while their sons fetch the dead bodies and dispatch the wounded with a quick wring of the neck.

Wringing has always been on Parker’s mind.

You see, his father has been a champion shot for as long as Parker can remember.  Worse yet, his best friends—Beans, Mutto and Henry—are OBSESSED with getting their chance to wring a few necks, an “honor” reserved only for boys who are turning 12.

Quite a growing-up gift, huh?

Here’s the hitch:  No matter how much his buddies and his father want him to be a Wringer, Parker just can’t bear the thought of breaking the necks of wounded birds.

Maybe it’s because he’s a kind soul.  Maybe it’s because his mom and his dad raised him to have a heart and to respect living creatures.

Or maybe it’s because he’s fallen in love with the pet pigeon that he’s hiding from his friends and his family in his closet.

Whatever Parker’s reasons, he’s got a choice to make:  Let down the people he cares the most about by standing up to a tradition that he despises OR let himself down by doing something that just doesn’t feel right.

There’s no doubt in my mind that if you’ve got a heart—or if you’ve ever had to wrestle with the pressure of pleasing peers who seem intent on doing things that you know are wrong—that you’ll LOVE Wringer by Jerry Spinelli.

Maybe it’s because I’m a boy—or because I’ve got a triple dose of Huffleblood running through me—but I really felt bad for Parker by the end of the story.

And I was completely blown away by the choice that he finally ended up making.

Wringer’s Score:  Way 85

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4 Responses to “Wringer will Blow Your Mind AND Break Your Heart”

  1. midori September 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I think that I am going to read that book soon. I love Jerry Spinelli books such as “Loser” and would really look forward to reading Wringer. Thanks Mr. F.

  2. Lara K. September 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    I am also planning to read Wringer, Midori. It seems like it will be a good book because it takes things that really happen- peer pressure, and making parents proud- and puts them in an entire different world. Also, along the lines of peer pressure- there are choices, which I can already tell are very heavily wheighing on Parker.

  3. Brent S September 12, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    When I was reading this story, a set of words were stuck in my head. Those words were PEER PRESSURE. I wonder if it was Mr. Spinellis purpose to hide that hidden message. THIS BOOK IS BETTER THEN THE HUNGER GAMES.If you dont read this book your really missing out.

    My ratting:Way 90

  4. Hannah B. the awesome September 15, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    This was definitely a MUST READ ! this is was a really good book. i would rate it a way 85 because it was great but it left me hanging on the end. Hopefully they make another book because i hate cliff hangers on the end. I like books with the end with all the loose ends tied up in a knot. This book was all about peer pressure. If i was the kid i would probably did what he did. The ending was good but not great so thats why i gave it a way 85.

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