Recently I read Wringer, a 228 page book by Jerry Spinelli. This was a great book that showed that you don’t always have to do what others want
you to do, no matter how honorable it may be. The main character Palmer was only four years old when he had to see the lives of innocent pigeons
be taken away for a reason he never understood. He has forever feared and hated the idea of killing animals but unfortunately he was then forced by
his father and friends to be put under the job of taking the little souls of pigeons away.
Palmer LaRue has lived in a village in Oklahoma that has a tradition that has become one of his biggest fears. This was a day in the summer called
the Family Fest which had the tradition of killing innocent pigeons. 5,000 pigeons would be released from cages and then shot, and for those who
survived had their heads wrung off by ten year old boys with the title of Wringer. When Palmer was nine years old he asked his dad if he was going
to be a wringer when he was ten, and the answer from his father was yes. Only one year until Palmer was wringing the heads of pigeons, but he was
only doing it for his father. Half way through the year though he makes a new friend, or should I say pet, because this little friend of his was a
pigeon. He was afraid for the pigeon’s life, and afraid because he didn’t want his dad to be disappointed. Eventually he decided to actually care for
the pigeon like a pet which he gave the name Nipper to, but when the day of the Family Fest was coming Palmer was having trouble on making the
decision on stopping the family tradition, or betraying Nipper.
I like how Jerry Spinelli made Palmer realize that he didn’t have to do what his friends or even family wanted, as well as let Palmer determine what
he thought was right.
Through a pigeon’s eye he looked down from the sky upon the field, the thousands of upturned faces, and saw nothing at all to fear.
He reached out then, held his pigeon out to the people, slowly turned so they could all see, so they all would know.
Someone shouted “Bang!” and laughter followed.
Cradling his pigeon in both hands, Palmer walked from the field. The crowd patted just enough to let him through. He felt the cold stares of people,
he smelled the mustard on their breaths. A hand reached out. He flinched. It was a little hand, a child’s hand, touching Nipper’s wing, stroking it. A
child’s voice saying, “Can I have one too, Daddy?”. (Page #228)
This act that Palmer did of saving a pigeon during a family fest was most likely unheard of. When people were staring at Palmer they were probably
thinking “Why didn’t he wring the pigeon, isn’t that his job?” maybe some of those people have done it and considered it to be an honor, but for
those that didn’t when they were younger, or those who haven’t done it yet, they probably had no idea what it was like to kill innocent animals
literally with your bare hands. Sure I may like to eat many kinds of meat, and I do know that the animals that were killed for meat were innocent, but
if I were put in the hands of a butcher I know for sure that I just can’t kill the animal, even if it is just a chicken, or a pigeon. I thought this book was
an amazing story about a young boy who was told by many people that he was going to be a wringer, but instead he decides to go with what he
thinks is right. I think that this book also reruns some parts of history such as human rights, and Palmer was never really given a choice to speak up
but then he realized that he was the only person that gave his own choices, therefore I rate this book a 9/10.