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Common Sense Media says
Exciting, moving story has something for everyone.
ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
A homeless orphan becomes a legend in a town divided by racism in this sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always exciting story. Jeffrey Magee's exploits may have made him famous, but reconciling a town filled with hate and finding a decent life for himself may be more than even he can manage.
Is it any good?
One of the greatest Newbery winners ever, Jerry Spinelli's MANIAC MAGEE is a riveting story, swinging between joy and sorrow, that works on many levels: as a realistic novel, the recounting of a legend, and a no-easy-answers statement on race relations. The ending shows the possibility of some personal happiness for Jeffrey, but offers no pat answers to the town's racial problems. There are heroes and monsters on both sides, and Jeffrey is able to find, even in the most hate-filled among them, redeeming qualities and humanity.
But while Jeffrey makes a difference in the lives of many, the reader is forced to realize that the idea that he can somehow bring about a reconciliation between the races is naive. The secondary characters are well drawn and appealing, the story is exciting, and the ideas are thought-provoking. And the book offers little moments that, though understated, are sometimes uplifting, sometimes heartrending, but always involving. This book should not be missed.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about legends.
How much truth is there in the stories told about Maniac Magee?
do you find more interesting -- what really happened, or the
I like this book. In 5th grade you read it (your teachers have to make the decision whether to let you know about african american discrimination for when you read this book in class). It is very sad at one point, i knew a few people who almost cried at that part.
An amazing book. Maniac is a kid living in a racist time and is the only one who doesn't understand. He regularly visits and for a good section of the book, lives in the "black" part of town. There is underage drinking, reckless behavior, racial slurs from both African Americans and Caucasians. Although the book is heartwarming, the book can be very sad, when Grayson dies, Maniac becomes depressed and eventually tries to starve himself. References to poop, roaches and other gross out stuff is abound, especially with the McNabs.
Could possibly be the closest thing to the perfect child's novel, ever.
Jeffrey if forced to run away from the worst kind of unfeeling people this world produces and goes on the search to find a family who will love him for who he is.
Jeffrey Magee is naive, loving, kind and completely without the traditional social barriers that we force on our children. His baths with the Beale children are wonderfully innocent and without need of judgement.
What he suffers for the sake of the McNab children is what I want my children to see as being a good and decent human being.
From his relationship with Mars Bar and the Beales, to his time spent with Greyson, right down to his dedication to the McNab children, I can't think of a better role model than Jeffrey Magee.
I loved this book! It has a great message: People with dark skin and people with white skin should be able to live together. It's about a boy who runs away into a racially divided town. My only concern is that the McNab childern smoke and swear. They also say some racist things, but kids who are old enough to understand the book will realize that that family has a lot of bad role models. Maniac is a very good role modle, because he's brave and believes that despite skin color, everyone can live together. Also, Greyson didn't give up while learning to read.
I think it's an ok book. Not to bad at all! And not to good for kids to hear about running away because my child has read it and asked me what that meant but I explained it to him and he understood. He also loves and enjoys the book and that's the first book he ever read and that's also how he learned to read. Thank you.
I read this book in 8th grade, and I really loved it. It was a little easy for my reading level, but it was still really fun. I think that it is Spinelli's best book. I've read almost all of his books, and none compare. This is a really good book. The racism issue could be a little confusing for younger kids, but it's really simple.
Happy reading! :)
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