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Maniac Magee Paperback – November 1, 1999
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Maniac Magee is a folk story about a boy, a very excitable boy. One that can outrun dogs, hit a home run off the best pitcher in the neighborhood, tie a knot no one can undo. "Kid's gotta be a maniac," is what the folks in Two Mills say. It's also the story of how this boy, Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee, confronts racism in a small town, tries to find a home where there is none and attempts to soothe tensions between rival factions on the tough side of town. Presented as a folk tale, it's the stuff of storytelling. "The history of a kid," says Jerry Spinelli, "is one part fact, two parts legend, and three parts snowball." And for this kid, four parts of fun. Maniac Magee won the 1991 Newbery Medal. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Winner of the Newbery Medal, this humorous yet poignant tall tale concerns a super-athletic teenager who bridges his town's racial gap. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I loved it when I randomly plucked it off the shelf at the library and read it in high school. I loved it when I bought a used copy and read it for my children's literature ("kiddy lit") class in college. And I loved it when I read it to my oldest son this year for homeschool, when I finally got it on my Kindle.
This book has all the appeal of a master raconteur, and is not only a joy to read aloud but a book that makes you think hard--and maybe giggle a little--long after you've put it down. It's a book about prejudice and false divisions, whether based on age, social status, or skin color. It's a book about a little boy who looms large in a splintered community. And it's a book about what love really looks like and how it acts--and how it heals.
If the other over 600 positive reviews and the Newbery medal this book won don't make you want to read it, then I'm not sure my review will make much of a difference. Too bad--this is a book well worth the reading, and not even the transition to the Kindle was enough to slow little Maniac down.
I totally disagree with a previous reviewer who criticizes publishers, purchasers and the dog catcher in exposing the conspiracy to get this "vile" book into hapless students' hands. None of the cuss words he mentions is in the book. There is no bad language, only the story of a decent kid with a tragic life who has become his own person. Racial animosity is examined but not encouraged in this book. The main character tries to help the people he meets and the town. The writing is sometimes funny and full of adventure.
We plan to read others by this author.