Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Maniac Magee

Maniac MageeManiac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

AR Reading Level: 4.7
On the library stacks: Children's/YA Fiction
Awards: Young Reader's Choice Award/Nominee; Newbery Medal; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award/Honors; State Award
Recommended for: Grades 4+

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My 5th-grade daughter Coco is reading this book at school right now. I wanted to read it so that I can talk to her about it--not just so that we can bond over it, but also in case there are any thematic issues that I want to discuss with her.

Jeffrey Magee is an orphan who has run away from the oppressive atmosphere of his aunt and uncle's home. He can outrun everyone, hit any baseball, and untie any knot, earning him the nickname of "Maniac." He is able to cross the racial divide from the East Side of town to the West Side of town, but there are those who are not too happy about it. Ultimately, Maniac confronts racism head-on as he learns what "home" truly means.

I thought this was a sweet and heart-warming story. Poverty and racism are certainly the main "issues" in this book. But I think that it is handled in a way that is appropriate for middle-graders. I'm definitely a Spinelli fan, and this book was well-written and quick to read. Coco read the first 20 pages last night and already we found some stuff to talk about, so I think this will be a fun experience for both of us.

Also reviewed by: Tiny Little Reading RoomBookworm Burrow 

Book 94 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge, Book 42 of 50 for the YA Reading Challenge, Book 25 of 25 for the Support Your Local Library Challenge
Source: Library

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I remember when my son read this - he loved it.