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Extended Audio Sample Wringer, by Jerry Spinelli Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,336 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jerry Spinelli Narrator: Johnny Heller Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Sometimes he wished it would come after him, chase him, this thing he did not want to be. But the thing never moved. It merely waited. Waited for him to come to it. In Palmer LaRue’s hometown of Waymer, turning ten is the biggest event of a boy’s life. It marks the day when a boy is ready to take his place as a wringer at the annual Family Fest. It’s an honor and a tradition.

But for Palmer, his tenth birthday is not something to look forward to, but something to dread. Because, although he can’t admit this to anyone, Palmer does not want to be a wringer. But he can’t stop himself from getting older, any more than he can stop tradition.

Then one day, a visitor appears on his windowsill, and Palmer knows that this, more than anything else, is a sign that his time is up. Somehow, he must learn how to stop being afraid and stand up for what he believes in.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Deeply felt. Presents a moral question with great care and sensitivity.” 

    New York Times

  • “Tender scenes contrast with barbaric images in this spellbinding story about rites of passage…the author maintains a sense of balance showing the best and worst sides of humanity. His eloquently wrought narrative alternates between allegory and realism.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Pacing is the key to the subtle emotional tension Heller delivers as Palmer…Heller maintains this tension through to the final scene of salvation.” 


  • “A story both comic and disturbing, this is lit by Palmer’s growing courage and Dorothy's surprising loyalty.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Newbery Honor Book in 1998

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joseph | 2/15/2014

    " I recommend this book to anyone who liked "Maniac Magee" or "Hoot". "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Monica | 2/10/2014

    " One of the worst books that I have EVER read and I've read quite alot of books.Very repetative. Very boring. I kinda hated this book. Alot. All they talk about is killing pigeons and wringing their necks, which I think is really kind of gross.=( "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Trevor C | 1/22/2014

    " I though that this was a very good book. It is every boys dream to wring a bird on a special day but only twelve year olds are allowed. But there is one boy that is turning twelve this year and everyone expects him to be excited but he is not. He does not want to be a wringer because he thinks it is sad and feels bad for the birds. I highly recommend this book cause it is fantastic and I already read it more than once "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jenelle | 1/3/2014

    " Ok, so I read this back when I was in 6th grade (I'm 21 now) and even though I don't remember most of it, it has stuck with me all these years (just like Milkweed) and I remember being captivated by this story at the time. I would love to read it again now. "

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