Not all birthdays are welcome.Wringer is a Children's Literature book by Jerry Spinelli.Set in a town where pigeons are annually shot once a year for charity, Wringer deals with the peer pressure Palmer LaRue faces. He doesn't like the annual festival, and to make matters worse, he's almost 10, which is the year boys became wringers—any pigeons left alive after being shot have their necks wrung.The local gang doesn't help matters. A group of tough kids, Beans, Henry, and Mutto try to accept Palmer into their fold to become wringers, as well as pick on Dorothy, a girl Palmer secretly likes. But there's something even worse that Palmer's keeping from all of them—his parents, the gang, Dorothy, and the town.He has a pet pigeon named Nipper, and he must do everything in his power to keep it safe from the town that murders pigeons.But one day, that secret may be revealed...
This books contains examples of:
- The Chew Toy: The gang makes Dorothy one of these. Later, they do this to Palmer.
- Death by Newbery Medal: Barely averted. While Nipper is wounded, he survives.
- Kids Are Cruel: Beans is nine when the book starts and he's a borderline sociopath. Mutto's just as nasty, and even Palmer can be cruel if coerced into it.
- Morality Pet: Nipper.
- Newbery Medal
- A Real Man Is a Killer: This seems to be the town's point of view on wringers and Pigeon Day in general.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Dorothy calls Palmer out for being and laughing with the gang as they pick on her.