Book Title: Maniac Magee
Author: by Jerry Spinelli
Grade Level: 5
Topic: Realistic Fiction
- What kind of person was Amanda Beale? Why was she a good person for Jeffrey Magee to meet on his first day in town?
- Amanda Beale was a no-nonsense, articulate, somewhat bossy girl who had no trouble letting other people know when she was exasperated by their behavior.
- She was a good person for Jeffrey to meet because she was too friendly to be hostile to the white stranger who approached her.
- She was not intimidated by Mars Barís "tough" behavior and was able to save Maniac from getting beaten up by him.
- She had a family that welcomed Jeffrey.
- How did Maniac make himself welcome in both the Beale home and the McNab home, and how were these two homes different?
- Maniac was very helpful, and his talent for attracting the admiration and cooperation of little children and for making them behave made him welcome in both homes.
- The Beale home was clean, warm, and accepting; it provided a haven for Maniac.
- The McNab home was violent, chaotic, and filthy; it provided a challenge for Maniac.
- The Beale family was black and included female family members as well as male, while the McNab family was white and was all male.
- How were Mars Bar Thompson and Giant John McNab alike, especially in relation to Maniac Magee?
- Both were tough-acting bullies and neighborhood leaders.
- Both were shown up or outfoxed by Maniac Magee and resented him because of it.
- Both came to respect Maniac Magee for the things he did, and both invited Maniac to their homes.
- What kind of relationship developed between Maniac Magee and Grayson? What did they give to each other?
- When Grayson found Maniac outside the buffalo pen, neither had anybody to live with; they came to enjoy each otherís company.
- They became like family to each other.
- Grayson provided food and a place to stay for Maniac; he also taught him some new baseball skills and gave him a ball and glove.
- Maniac made Grayson feel needed and appreciated; he also taught him how to read.
- What personal traits made it possible for Maniac Magee to change peopleís lives?
- He approached people without prejudice or fear and accepted them for who they really were.
- Because of his extraordinary talents, as well as his total self-confidence, people of all kinds respected him.
- He was caring, considerate, helpful, and honest, so there were few reasons to distrust him and many reasons to like him.
- He didnít "belong" anywhere, and thus was able to fit in everywhere.