MANIAC MAGEE by Jerry Spinelli

MANIAC MAGEE

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An occasionally long-winded, but always affecting, parable-like story about racism and ignorance. Jeffrey Magee is twice homeless--once involuntarily, at age three, when his parents plunge with a high-speed trolley off a bridge; the second time eight years later, when he voluntarily leaves the troubled home of his aunt and uncle. Jeffrey's subsequent yearlong flight generates a host of legends:, his sudden appearances and astonishing athletic prowess earn him the name "Maniac," and his just-as-sudden disappearances ensure his fame. Innocently, he crosses between two strictly segregated parts of town, the white East End and the black West End, making friends and enemies in both camps and managing to soften the lines of segregation; later, he finds a new home in the West. If this is sometimes a bit like a chalkboard lesson, it may be because racism is still a volatile subject that is more comfortably dealt with in parable form. The metaphorical style is a brave change from the realism of Spinelli's other books, while fans of his earlier, tongue-in-cheek, streetwise tone will find it also an integral part of this story--ballast for the mythic, shifting picture of Maniac's year on the run.
Pub Date: April 2nd, 1990
ISBN: 0316807222
Page count: 202pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1990




MORE BY JERRY SPINELLI

ChildrenTHE WARDEN'S DAUGHTER by Jerry Spinelli
by Jerry Spinelli
ChildrenMAMA SEETON'S WHISTLE by Jerry Spinelli
by Jerry Spinelli
ChildrenHOKEY POKEY by Jerry Spinelli
by Jerry Spinelli

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenI'LL BE HOME SOON by Luanne Armstrong-Ellis
by Luanne Armstrong-Ellis
ChildrenFAIR BALL by Derek Jeter
by Derek Jeter
ChildrenMANGO DELIGHT by Fracaswell Hyman
by Fracaswell Hyman
ChildrenA SHILOH CHRISTMAS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor