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Maniac Magee (1990)

by Jerry Spinelli

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,862230890 (3.98)1 / 138
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
    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.
  3. 00
    Heartbeat by Sharon Creech (jacqueline065)
  4. 11
    Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick (weener)
  5. 02
    Slake's Limbo by Felice Holman (jpers36)
  6. 02
    The Mouse Rap by Walter Dean Myers (jpers36)

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» See also 138 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 227 (next | show all)
Maniac Magee is a popular story about racism and segregation that is often taught at the middle school level. The main character is Jeffery Magee, a young , white, orphan boy who becomes a local hero in his very divided town due to his severe lack of care about race, something that is completely unlike everyone else in Two Mills. This book won several awards in the years following its publication in 1990, and I actually read this book in 6th grade ELAR and still remember details about it to this day because it was so impactful. A cross content aspect of this book is in Social Studies due to its focus on race, racism, and segregation, but it could be kept on any classroom bookshelf or read aloud to any class. ( )
  Francesca_Fergason | Nov 18, 2021 |
Who should read it?
This book is considered a "classic" by many of the students and teachers I've talked to, and I can see what. There are important lessons about independence, racism, determination, death, poverty, and role models embedded in a craftily narrated story of a local legend, Maniac Magee. Due to the vocabulary and writing style, I would recommend this book for younger young adult readers, like upper elementary or early middle school, depending on the student’s maturity, but if a high schooler was looking for a fun, quick read, I would recommend it to them as well. It would make a fun read-aloud for as young as third grade, I feel.

The version I read is the 25th-anniversary edition pictured above.

Curious why Maniac Magee is still popular over 25 years after its original publication? Check out this article "25 Years On, 'Maniac Magee' Is Still Running By Shannon Maughan: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/artic... ( )
  Walsh4KoMets | Nov 15, 2021 |
I’d read this book again just for the writing. The story’s not too shabby either. ( )
  Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |
My son is reading this for school, so I thought I'd see what it was all about.

Not sure which was worse - the creepy, illiterate old guy who moves in with Magee or the depiction of the McNab family as prejudiced white trash. If the McNabs had been a black family, the depiction of ignorance and squalor in the household would have been declared hate speech and Spinelli branded a racist.
  CrimsonWurm | Apr 11, 2021 |
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 227 (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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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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: (3.98)
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1 11
1.5 4
2 69
2.5 13
3 209
3.5 58
4 443
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Hachette Book Group

2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316809063, 0316807222


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