Author: Jerry Spinelli
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Classics, Realistic Fiction
Prejudice and Tolerance Experiences, Individuality, Running Away, Track and Field, Foster Care
He wasn't born with the name Maniac Magee. He came into this world named Jeffrey Lionel Magee, but when his parents died and his life changed, so did his name. And Maniac Magee became a legend. Even today kids talk about how fast he could run; about how he hit an inside-the-park "frog" homer; how no knot, no matter how snarled, would stay that way once he began to untie it. But the thing Mania Magee is best known for is what he did for the kids from the East Side and those from the West Side.
He was special all right, and this is his story, and it's a story that is very careful not to let the facts get mixed up with the truth.
Jerry Spinelli won the Newbery Medal for Maniac Magee, the sixth of his more than fifteen acclaimed books for young readers. Growing up, he played no fewer than five different sports, including football, track, and basketball. He wanted to be a shortstop in the majors long before it occurred to him to be a writer. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book. And, of course, to show the world a little bit about athletes and what makes some of them tick. Jerry Spinelli lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.