Many study units and teaching guides are available, including a study guide by the author.
After living with his Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan in another town and enduring their mutual hatred and silence, he runs away during a school musical performance.
He meets Amanda Beale, an East Ender who carries her library of random books in a suitcase, and he borrows a book before continuing his dash through town. The Finsterwald house is a house dreaded by everyone and has a bad reputation.
Because of these acts, he earned the nickname "Maniac" and started a local legend. Maniac finds a temporary home there, helping Mr. Beale with the chores and pacifying their youngest children, Hester and Lester.
After finishing the task he is praised by everyone as confetti is thrown into the air. Amanda Beale realizes, too late, that the confetti was made from the pages of her favorite book. He takes shelter in the buffalo pen at the zoo and occasionally eats with the Pickwells—West Enders who provide spaghetti dinners for anyone who shows up at their dinner table.
For a few months Jeffrey has a home again with Grayson, helping at work, celebrating holidays, and teaching Grayson to read. When Grayson dies in his sleep, Maniac wanders off aimlessly.
Maniac leads them back home, bribing them with free pizza, and stays at their cockroach-infested, decrepit house.
He endures the coarseness and squalor of the McNab home in hopes of keeping Piper and Russell in school and under control, but eventually gives up.
He moves back into the buffalo pen, and runs for miles every morning before Two Mills wakes up. Before long, Mars Bar starts running with him as if by coincidence, and the two never say a word to each other. Maniac retreats to the buffalo pen, where Mars Bar leads Amanda Beale to persuade Maniac once and for all to come live with her family again.
Jeffrey is orphaned and finds himself in Two Mills, where he becomes a local legend while trying to find a home. He has astonishing athletic abilities, runs everywhere he goes, can untie any knot, is allergic to pizza, and crosses the barrier between East End and West End as if blind to racial distinction.
Amanda Beale is the first person Maniac meets in Two Mills. She defends Maniac whom she always calls Jeffrey from Mars Bar the bully, and eventually provides him with a home.
Mars Bar eventually rescues Russell McNab from the trolley truss, and offers Maniac a place to stay for a while. As his nickname applies, he is known for eating Mars Bar chocolate bars. He remains convinced that the black East Enders are planning a rebellion.
Piper and Russell McNab are younger brothers of John McNab who play hookeysteal, and constantly try to run away from home.
In their house, they use toy machine guns to shoot the "rebels" from the East End. Earl Grayson is the groundskeeper at the zoo and resident of the YMCA, though he was once a minor league baseball pitcher who struck out Willie Mays. He becomes friends with Maniac, who listens to his stories and teaches him to read.
Beale is the kind and caring mother of Amanda, Hester, and Lester. She is very sweet and thoughtful to Maniac as well. Hester and Lester are the brother and sister of Amanda Beale and the son and daughter of Mrs.
The standard identifiers of name, race and place of residence seem not to apply permanently to him. Maniac insists to anyone who asks that his name is Jeffrey, since he was afraid of losing his name, and with it the only thing he had left from his mother and father.
Race and racism play a prominent role in the story, with Maniac drawn as a neutral observer with the inability to see "black" and "white.
But never licorice, which, to him, was real black. Norristown, like Two Mills, is across the Schuylkill River from Bridgeportand neighboring towns include Conshohocken, Jeffersonville and Worcester, all of which are mentioned in the novel.
Reception Critical reviews Maniac Magee was well-received upon publication, variously lauded in reviews as "always affecting,"  having "broad appeal," and being full of "pathos and compassion.
It has also been called "long-winded," and seeming like a "chalkboard lesson.Introduction to Maniac Magee. Maniac Magee is the sixth book written by American children's author Jerry Spinelli.
Due to its careful, bittersweet rendering of racism in s and s in the United States, the book, published in , won an incredible number of awards including: the Newbery Medal (), the Charlotte Award (), the Mark Twain Award (), and a ranking among the top 40 children's .
Maniac Magee is a novel written by American author Jerry Spinelli and published in Exploring themes of racism and homelessness, it follows the story of an orphan boy looking for a home in the fictional Pennsylvania town of Two Mills. It is popular in elementary school curricula, and has been used in scholarly studies on the.
Instructional unit plan for Maniac Magee Novel. Resources for teaching and student learning. The U.S. National Education Association named Maniac Magee one of "Teachers' Top Books for Children" based on a online poll. In it was ranked number 40 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with primarily U.S.
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