He did not want to be a wringer.Palmer LaRue is rnning out of birthdays. For as long as he can remember, he's dreaded the day he turns ten, the day he's supposed to become a wringer.This thing, this not wanting to be a wringer, did it ever knock him from his bike? Unite his sneaker lace? Call him a name? Stand up and fight?Palmer thinks that becoming a wringer is something he can't stop...until the day a visitor shows up at his window.It was simply, merely there, a whisper of featherwings, reminding him of the moment he dreaded above all others.Should he open the window?In his dreams the moment had already come.Should he invite fear into his room?In his dreams he looks down to find his hands around the neck of the pigeon.What is it like to be hated?For much of his life Palmer Larue had felt he was standing at the edge of a black, bottomless hole. On the fifty-ninth day before his tenth birthday, he fell in. Palmer LaRue is running out of birthdays. For as long as he can remember, he's dreaded the day he turns ten -- the day he'll take his place beside all the other ten-year-old boys in town, the day he'll be a wringer. But Palmer doesn't want to be a wringer. It's one of the first things he learned about himself and it's one of the biggest things he has to hide. In Palmer's town being a wringer is an honor, a tradition passed down from father to son. Palmer can't stop himself from being a wringer just like he can't stop himself from growing one year older, just like he can't stand up to a whole town -- right? Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli's most powerful novel yet is a gripping tale of how one boy learns how not to be afraid.