Not going to school? Sounds good to us! In fact, it sounds like the ultimate freedom. In Maniac Magee, though, skipping school isn't necessarily about freedom. And freedom might not be such a good thing. In fact, it just might be a word for nothing left to lose. In other words, Maniac's freedom from all the rules and regulations that normal kids have actually ends up trapping him. It's only when he accepts Mrs. Beale as a mom that he's free to be a kid.
Even when he's part of a family, Maniac isn't willing to give up his freedom.
Maniac experiences the most freedom from rules and regulations of the outside world while living in the zoo, where the rest of the residents are experiencing the ultimate confinement.