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Not everything is perfect
on May 19, 2002
I picked Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli for my school book report because the cover looked interesting. It showed a picture of feet running. Inside the book jacket was a poem that read:
He's so cool
Don't go to school
Runs all night
Runs all right
Kissed a bull."
It looked very interesting and funny. I really liked the book because the main character, Maniac Magee, was funny and smart and cared about and helped people. You really want him to be happy.
Maniac Magee (whose really name was Jeffrey) became a homeless kid who lost his parents in a trolley accident. He wants a real home with a family and that is what he looks for in the story. He's really unusual. He is famous for running everywhere. He's so fast no one can beat him. He's really good at sports. He even hit a "frog" ball and turned it into an inside the park homerun. He can untie very complicated knots. Little kids bring him all their troubles and he helps solve them. He wins a lifetime supply of pizza but he's allergic to pizza! Everyone loves him--well, almost everyone. That's what bothers him and keeps him running all night.
Maniac doesn't see any bad in people. He keeps thinking they're nice. But some are so mean that he finally figures out they don't like him. He blames himself. Maniac meets a girl, Amanda. She has lots of books and he really wants one. She lets him have one to read. When he returns it she invites him to live with her family in the East End. Only black people live there. Maniac doesn't see any difference between the black and white people. When he sees there are some who don't understand each other he tries to get them to like each other. But this doesn't happen very easily.
After Maniac runs away from Amanda's house, he lives with the buffalos at the park zoo. One day he meets Grayson who used to be a Minor league pitcher. Grayson and Maniac become really close like grandson and grandfather. They do everything together. You'll have to read what happens next. It's very emotional.
Maniac spends time with the McNabb family in the West End. This is where the white people live. When he's there he tries to bring the East End and West End kids together. One time it doesn't work. Another time it does work.
Maniac runs away from all of his temporary homes because he wants things to be perfect. He learns that not everything can be perfect. Does he find what he wants in the end? You'll have to read the book to find out.