Two Mills is a town divided by race. The white people live on the west side of Hector Street, and the black people live on the east side. But Maniac, who is white, doesn't recognize the barrier. He quickly befriends a black girl and soon finds himself invited to live with the Beales, a family on the East End. Maniac seems to have found a warm, loving home at last, but there are some on the East End who do not want a white boy living among them.
Because he fears what might happen to the Beales, Maniac runs away again. When Earl Grayson discovers Maniac living in the buffalo pen at the Elmwood Park Zoo, he takes him into his care. Grayson is a park worker, but Maniac quickly discovers that Grayson was once a pitcher in the minor leagues. As Grayson shares tales of his short-lived baseball career, he also reveals to Maniac that he cannot read. With patience and encouragement, Maniac begins to help the old man learn to read. It seems that Maniac has found a new home living in the equipment room at the park's band shell, but the unexpected death of the old man sends Maniac on the run and deep in despair.
A chance encounter with two young runaways brings Maniac back to the West End of Two Mills and the dysfunctional McNab home. There he sees the terrible effects of the racial barrier in Two Mills, and in his own small way, Maniac decides to make a difference. A modern tall tale about a homeless boy whose legendary feats bring together a town divided by distrust and misunderstanding!
Progeny Press Maniac Magee Language Arts PDF curriculum will provide your Middle School grade student with:
About the Author: Explore the author's life and inspirations that shaped the creation of the novel, Maniac Magee.
Vocabulary: Master the words intricately woven throughout the novel. Engage in diverse activities designed to not only comprehend but also retain and expand your vocabulary.
Literary Techniques: Uncover the artistry within the narrative by exploring various literary techniques. Navigate the realms of dictionaries, metaphors, similes, hyperboles, descriptive writing, synonyms, point of view, extended metaphors, conflicts, complications, resolutions, themes, and parallel narratives.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Reflect on the moral lessons and character values interwoven into the storyline. Contemplate the distinctions between facts and truth, the sanctity of marriage, the power of wholesome talk, how God views the human heart, the significance of prayer and thankfulness, navigating despair and finding peace, embracing love for neighbors, the universal equality in Christ, and issues of racism.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Map out the story's journey, explore folk tales, engage in class discussions on racism, express your thoughts through essay writing, and explore the theme of homelessness.
Suggestions for Further Reading: Extend your literary adventure with a curated reading list featuring more works by Jerry Spinelli and other books that complement, Maniac Magee.
All of Progeny Press' language arts unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!
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