Wringer Plot summary

Wringer Plot summary
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Wringer by Jerry Spinelli Summary & Activities

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli

Lesson Plans by Liane Hicks

Palmer LaRue has been dreading the day he turns 10. In his town, 10-year-olds get the job of "wringer" at the town's annual family festival, Pigeon Day, where 5,000 pigeons are released from crates and shot down in a competition for a sharpshooter award. The story follows Palmer's journey from a life driven by fear and the longing to be accepted to one where he gains the confidence to stand up for what he believes.




Wringer

Storyboard Description

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Storyboard Text

  • WRINGER by Jerry Spinelli
  • Best Sharpshooter
  • Happy Birthday, Palmer!
  • EXPOSITION / CONFLICT
  • RISING ACTION
  • I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor. I will not spit on the floor.
  • Wringer by Jerry Spinelli is the story of Palmer LaRue who has been dreading the day he turns 10. In his town, 10-year-olds get the job of "wringer" at the annual festival: Pigeon Day, where 5,000 pigeons are released from crates to be shot down in a competition for a sharpshooter award, which Palmer's father has won. The "wringers" run around the field and wring the necks of pigeons to ensure they're dead.
  • CLIMAX / TURNING POINT
  • 
  • At the start of the story, Palmer is exited that Beans, Mutto and Henry finally initiate him into their gang and call him "Snots." Beans is the leader and a cruel bully. Palmer wants to be liked by the gang and even discards his former friend and neighbor, Dorothy Gruzik joining in the boys' teasing of her. A big problem arises when a pigeon lands on Palmer's windowsill and becomes his secret pet, named Nipper!
  • FALLING ACTION
  • The bully Beans can't wait to be a wringer and Palmer knows that Nipper, would be in danger if the boys ever found out. And, that they would drop him as a friend. The only person Palmer can confide in about Nipper is Dorothy as she is a true friend and also against the shoot. In one scene, Palmer even pretends to spit on the floor so that his teacher will make him stay after school for a week rather than face the gang.
  • RESOLUTION
  • Waymer GazetteUnexpected Event at Pigeon Day!
  • The gang figures out that Palmer has a pet pigeon and Palmer is afraid they will come and kill it. He asks Dorothy to release Nipper while they're on a family vacation at the beach. He is devastated to lose his beloved pet but feels he did what he had to for Nipper. Pigeon Day arrives. Palmer asks Dorothy where she released Nipper and she says by the train tracks. Palmer is appalled because this is the exact place they capture pigeons for the shoot! Palmer has to decide whether to keep quiet and protect himself or stand up and save Nipper!
  • Palmer rushes to the shooting range and searches the crates for Nipper He finally sees him being released and shot out of the sky in the air! Nipper falls onto the field. Palmer races to save his friend to the shock of the crowd. He scoops Nipper up in his arms and carries him through the field to safety disregarding the danger. The crowd looks on in awe. Palmer finally stands up for what he believes in and saves Nippers life.
  • Nipper had a hurt wing but he survived. As Palmer and Nipper walked off the field, another child reached out to pet Nipper and asked his father if he could have one. The Waymer newspaper wrote about Pigeon Day saying that it was a successful event which raised $34,000 for the public park. It also mentioned that there was an unexpected episode where one lucky pigeon was rescued by a "reckless lad".
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