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popsiclesinbed

popsiclesinbed

Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli Maniac Magee was the 1991 Newbery Award Winner. In a tall tale style, this short novel tells the story of Jeffery "Maniac" Magee, an orphan and runaway, whose interesting feats and quest for a home make him a legend to children in one town. In a large sense Maniac Magee is a didactic story about post-civil rights movement racial segregation, but it also has strong themes of family and home. While the tall tale style naturally lends itself to generalizations and stereotypes, I was a bit concerned about a few of them that came across in this story that is, I think, purposefully trying to combat them. I noticed, for example, that all the racist people in the story are poor males, that all the women are kind and nurturing, and that the sweet, welcoming people on both sides of the tracks are large nuclear families, and that the ignorant people are, on top of being poor and male, from broken homes. These characteristics might be a sign of them time the book was written or an effect of the writing style.