Saturday, August 11, 2007

Halfway Through August (almost)

Well, guys, it's the hottest time of the year. This is also the month for a lot of birthdays. Seems like a lot of my friends and relatives have birthdays this month. So that brings me to a book in which a birthday plays a big part. It's Wringer by Jerry Spinelli. Do you look forward to your birthday? Palmer LaRue (nicknamed Beans because he loves cold beans out of the can) does not. He knows that he'll become a Wringer on his tenth birthday. What's a Wringer? That's a boy who wrings the necks of pigeons that don't get killed instantly during his town's annual Pigeon Day shoot. Most boys in town can't wait to become Wringers but Palmer hates the thought. Yet everyone expects him to do it. Things really become complicated a pigeon lands on the windowsill of his bedroom and Palmer makes it a pet. What can he do? Can he get out of being a Wringer? Read it and find out!

As long as we're talking about Jerry Spinelli books, let me tell you about one more--Fourth Grade Rats. When Suds (doesn't Jerry Spinelli give his characters great nicknames?) and his best friend Joey go into the fourth grade, they hear this chant from a bunch of third-graders: "First grade babies! Second grade cats! Third grade angels! Fourth grade rats!" Joey wants to act like a rat when they go into fourth grade but Suds doesn't. Joey starts pushing Suds to misbehave. Will he listen or will he do the right thing? This is a great book about peer pressure--something we've all had to face up to, right? I think both these books are good stories about doing the right thing in spite of peer pressure. Go read them if you've ever been in that spot.
Well, I'm going to stay inside and be cool. I'm reading a book that I'll tell you about next week. It's quick, fun, and I will nominate it as The Goofiest Book of the Year.

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