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by Jerry Spinelli

Palmer, 9, is expected to take part in a tradition that requires 10-year-old boys to break the necks of the wounded birds. Palmer, who has a pet pigeon in his room, does not want to participate. Can he refuse? Can he stand up to the peer pressure and break with the tradition?

The New York Times Book Review said Wringer is "deeply felt...present[ing] a moral question with great care and sensitivity."

Awards Won by this book

  • Newbery Honor
  • New York Public Library's "One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing"
  • American Library Association Notable Children's Book
  • School Library Journal Best Book
  • Horn Book Fanfare
  • National Council of Teachers of English Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts
  • American Library Association Booklist Editors' Choice
  • American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

Reading Levels for this book

Interest Level:  Gr. 4-8            DRA Level: 50                Lexile Measure: 690L
Grade Equivalent: 5.5            Guided Reading: U

Book Covers Available

There are two different book covers available for this book:

This book was an honoree for the prestigious Newbery Award for best children's literature. Click to see the full list of Newbery Award Winners.

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