1998 Newbery Honor Book! 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” – someone who wrings the necks of wounded birds at the community's annual pigeon shoot. When the boys in the gang finally accept Palmer as a member, he knows he has a bigger problem. The gang won't keep him if they find out he's a wimp. And to make matters worse, he has a new pet-a tame pigeon! Palmer can’t admit it to anyone, but he doesn’t 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 lands on his windowsill and Palmer knows that this is a sign that his time is up. Somehow, he must conquer his fear and stand up for what he believes in. Ages 8 — 12. 229pp.