How did Palmer spend most of his summer in Wringer?

Quick answer:

Palmer spends most of the summer with his new friends, Henry, Beans, and Mutto. They play soccer, go to the park, and harass Palmer's former friend Dorothy. In the first week of August, Palmer, along with everyone else from his town, attends the Family Fest.

Expert Answers

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The novel begins during the summer holidays and the day of Palmer's birthday. Palmer has found a new group of friends—Henry, Beans, and Mutto—and hopes he can impress them with his "new black and white soccer ball."

They kick the ball up and down the street for a while before they get bored and then decide to harass a girl they nickname "Fishface." Her real name is Dorothy Gruzik, and she was Palmer's best friend until he joined this rougher group of boys. He guiltily helps the boys collect mud and stones from inside a sewer grate and put them on the top step of Dorothy's house. "Maybe they'll think it's poop," Beans says.

The boys then go to the park, a place that Palmer says he wouldn't normally visit. He doesn't feel comfortable there and decides to stand on the edge of the field and watch his new friends play with his ball. A little bit later, at a playground, Palmer gets what they call "the Treatment." This means that in celebration of his birthday, they punch his arm for each year he has been alive.

Such activities characterize Palmer's life for the next few weeks. The first week of August, however, is the "Family Fest," "a week of talent contests and softball games and races . . . music and barbecue . . . And shooting pigeons."

The pigeon shoot is called "Pigeon Day." Palmer has memories of going to Pigeon Day with Dorothy. In particular, he remembers that Dorothy was so upset when she found out that people were there to kill the birds that she ran all the way home crying.

At the end of chapter 12, Palmer runs away from his new friends when they open a crate full of pigeons in order to harm them.

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