Maniac, Maniac, he's so cool!
Maniac, Maniac, don't go to school!
Runs all night, runs all right!
Maniac, Maniac, kissed a bull!Maniac Magee
is a young adult book written by Jerry Spinelli. This book deals with a strange boy named Maniac Magee who starts off with a very crappy childhood. He runs away and tries to find a home, while making a legend of himself in the process. He then meets Amanda Beale
, a young, sassy
girl. She lends him a book and she finds him worming his way into the hearts of her family and herself, while dealing with racial problems in the urban streets.
A flim adaption aired in Nicklodeon in 2003, although it was lighter
in comparsion with the book.
These are the following tropes:
- Alliterative Family: All ten of the Pickwell children have names that start with the letter D.
- Badass: Maniac.
- Badass Bookworm: Maniac, again, as well as Amanda Beale.
- Berserk Button: Do not mess with Amanda Beale's books.
- Maniac gets a similar button with Grayson's old baseball glove.
- Bratty Half Pints: Piper and Russell.
- Hester and Lester, to an extent.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Amanda and Mars Bar appear to have shades of this, especially apparent towards the end of the book.
- Big Brother Mentor: Hester and Lester see Maniac this way. He tries to be one to Piper and Russell, as well.
- Cool Old Guy: Grayson.
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Death by Newbery Medal: Earl Grayson.
- Death Glare: Mars Bar can cause a traffic jam just by doing this, according to legend.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Amanda gives one to Mars Bar at the end of the novel. "How bad can you be if everyone's calling you Snickers?"
- Urban Racism: The West Enders and the East Enders have this attitude towards each other. It comes to the forefront when Magee is cooling off from the summer heat with a bunch of East Enders, using a burst fire hydrant - an old black man comes up to him and throws racial epithets at him, saying he doesn't belong there, until he runs.
- First Name Basis: Amanda, and by extension her whole family, will only address Maniac by his given name. Jeffrey.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Jada Pinkett Smith is the narrator of the film adaption of Maniac Magee.
- Rip Torn is George McNab.
- Orlando Brown AKA Cornelius Filmore is Mars Bar.
- Heroic BSOD: Maniac suffers a huge one after Grayson passes away.
- Jerk Ass: John and George McNab, Mars Bar for most of the book.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mars Bar becomes this after saving Russell from being run over.
- Last Name Basis: Earl Grayson, and John McNab for the most part. The latter averts this in scenes where his father is also present.
- Lonely Funeral: Maniac is the only mourner at Grayson's funeral, which is little more than just burying the man's dead body in a hole.
- Loners Are Freaks: Averted. Maniac just wants to be accepted by everyone.
- Meaningful Name: Piper McNab, whose laughter is like the blast of a truck horn.
- Memetic Mutation: In-universe, Maniac's exploits become the subject of a jump-rope chant.
Maniac, Maniac, he's so cool
Maniac, Maniac, don't go to school
Runs all night
Runs all right
Maniac, Maniac, kissed a bull
- The Messiah: Maniac.
- Meganekko: Amanda.
- Na´ve Newcomer: Maniac, at first.
- Never Learned to Read: Grayson, at least until Maniac teaches him.
- No Accounting for Taste: Maniac's aunt and uncle have a deep mutual hatred for each other, yet stay together because divorce is against their religion. It's their horrible relationship that finally make Maniac just snap and run as far away as he can from them.
- No Communities Were Harmed
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Mars Bar.
- Parental Abandonment: Maniac's parents died in a train crash.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Amanda tends to talk this way when annoyed.
- Sassy Black Girl: Amanda.
- Scary Black Boy: Mars Bar. He eventually warms up a little bit.
- The Rival: Mars Bar to Maniac. It's largely one-sided on Mars Bar's part, though.
- The Runaway: Maniac.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Maniac will do anything for a pack of Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets.
- Truth in Television: A street that divides a community neatly in half? St. Louis has it. It's not clear if Spinelli was referring to it specifically.
- Tsundere: Amanda behaves this way towards Maniac and Mars Bar.
- Wham Line: "Five days later the old man was dead."