One of the boys;Children's books

23rd April 1999 at 01:00
Wringer by Jerry Spinelli (HarperCollins pound;3.99) is a wonderfully comic and touching novel with a small-town American setting.

Palmer does not want to be a wringer, but every 10-year-old boy is expected to play his part at the annual Pigeon Day shoot, wringing the necks of any still-living pigeons after they have been shot at by adult sharpshooters. This is a job thought suitably man-making by everyone except Palmer himself. Especially after he is befriended by an especially intelligent-seeming pigeon.

The novel is a moving study of the tension between individual sensibilities and the male craving to be one of the guys. Spinelli's portrait of Palmer's three main friends (who nickname him Snots, and freeze out Dorothy, a friend from his early years) is masterly. So is his handling of the gradual shift in young Palmer's attitudes between his ninth and his 10th birthdays.

More orthodox in aim and execution is Elizabeth Laird's Leopard Trail (Macmillan pound;2.99), set in Kenya, the first in a new animal adventure series, Wild Things, with a cast enjoyably demarcated into goodies and baddies.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now