The novel Wringer is a novel written by the American writer Jerry Spinelli and published in 1997. Just like other previous books written by Spinelli, Wringer is a young adult novel that focuses on pre-adolescent characters and the struggles they have to face.
The action of the novel takes place in a fictional city where there is an annual tradition of releasing a large number of pigeons and then shooting them. The pigeons that are not killed are then captured by the children present there and killed by having their neck broken. In that particular town, the act of breaking a pigeon’s neck is seen as a rite of passage from childhood and adulthood so it becomes important for many characters.
The main character in the novel, Palmer, is forced to take part in this tradition as well even though he feels uncomfortable killing pigeons. His parents are supportive of him and when they find that Palmer has a pigeon that he keeps as a pet, they keep their son’s secret knowing that he will be criticized by his peers for his apparent lack of manliness.
The subjects discussed and the themes analyzed in the novel are far from being childish but Spinelli presents them in an accessible way. Because of this, he was praised for his literary talent and his novel became successful, receiving positive reviews from various literary critics.