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Maniac Magee (1990)

by Jerry Spinelli

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,326233854 (3.97)1 / 142
After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.
  1. 10
    Crash by Jerry Spinelli (JuKi4)
  2. 11
    Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick (weener)
  3. 11
    Holes by Louis Sachar (Maiasaura, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: With tall-tale elements, quirky characters and serious themes such as racism, these poignant and humorous novels with fully-realized settings are about brave boys who make a big difference in the lives of those around them.
  4. 00
    Heartbeat by Sharon Creech (jacqueline065)
  5. 02
    The Mouse Rap by Walter Dean Myers (jpers36)
  6. 02
    Slake's Limbo by Felice Holman (jpers36)

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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Name that Book: YA boy coming of age from 80's or 90's3 unread / 3RockStarNinja, November 2011

» See also 142 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
“…the history of a kid is one part fact, two parts legend, and three parts snowball.”

Homelessness = sad. Allergic to pizza? Devastating! 😆 But in all seriousness, this is a pretty decent read, that touches on issues of homelessness and race. Maybe 'lightly' touches is a more accurate description, as someone as famous as Maniac would probably not be allowed to be unhoused and not in school in a 'real' town, East End or West End. And the really uninformed things some of the white people 'say' in this book seem otherworldly ignorant, and I wondered several times what year this was supposed to be occurring in? (yes, I do know how ignorant some folks are, but many of the questions that Grayson asks are just... come on!)

At the end of the book, I just hoped Maniac would end up in school and using his physical gifts to his benefit! As a baseball nut myself, I hope he ended up on the diamond! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Sep 4, 2023 |
Newberry Medal Winner!
  vashonpatty | Aug 1, 2023 |
I don't care much for protagonists who are perfect at everything and develop a savior complex (besides Harry Potter) - as in, I didn't much care for Maniac Magee. However, I did like the Beale family and the Pickwell family quite a bit; loving and easy-going families that can welcome in any strangers and make them feel like part of the family are a bit of a weakness of mine. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
Independent Reading Level: 5th Grade
Awards/Honors: Newbery Medal ( )
  Taylorsapp | May 4, 2023 |
I just remember this book being mind-blowingly good in 4th grade. ( )
  graceandbenji | Sep 1, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
Adrian Jackson (Books for Keeps No. 96, January 1996)
A marvellous and special book (a Newbery winner) - worth having as a set. It's the part mythic story of Maniac, always running, looking for, a home, how he got his name and how he became a legend. In between the stories of his untying the legendary Cobble's Knot, the baseball game involving a frog, sleeping alongside the buffalo at the-zoo and beating an ace sprinter by running backwards, is the racial, divide of the town. Maniac runs between the two, fighting his own battles, but also battling to bring people together. A wonderful read and read-aloud. Category: Middle/Secondary. . ...., Hippo, D3.50. Ages 10 to 14.
added by kthomp25 | editAdrian Jackson, Books for Keeps
Fran Lantz (KLIATT Review, September 1992 (Vol. 26, No. 6))
Jeffrey "Maniac" Magee is a scruffy 12-year-old runaway orphan with some exceptional powers--he can run faster than anyone, he can hit an inside-the-park homerun bunt, and he can untie any knot. One day he wanders into Two Mills, a highly segregated town. But Jeffrey is an innocent who makes friends with both black kids from the East Side and white kids from the West Side, and eventually--with only the force of his personality and unusual talents to help him--manages to unite the town. Spinelli has written an unusual and moving story. He presents Maniac as a legendary figure, and leaves it to the reader to decide what is true and what is myth. Although the book is a bit difficult to get into, the persistent reader will be well rewarded. Winner of the 1991 Newbery Medal. KLIATT Codes: J*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 1990, Harper-Trophy, $3.95. Ages 12 to 15.
added by kthomp25 | editKLIATT, Fran Lantz

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jerry Spinelliprimary authorall editionscalculated
Steinhöfel, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed


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For Ray and Jerry Lincoln
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Maniac Magee was not born in a dump.
But that’s okay, because the history of a kid is one part fact, two parts legend, and three parts snowball.
She was right, of course. Inside his house, a kid gets one name, but on the other side of the door, it’s whatever the rest of the world wants to call him.
Never again to return to the house with two toasters. Never again to return to school.
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After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.

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After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.

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Average: (3.97)
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