| Quote #4
"Besides," said the doctors, "this would have shown up on him since he was little, most likely, every time he came near a pizza." He turned to Maniac, still chuckling. "You have eaten pizza before, haven't you?"
Maniac got a funny expression on his face. He looked around. Everybody was starting at him. The silence grew longer, eyes grew wider…
And that's how they found out that Maniac Magee was allergic to pizza." (13.30-32)
This is physical evidence of the sheltered life Maniac lived with his aunt and uncle: he's literally never eaten pizza. He's pizza-innocent. Weird, right? Well, it goes to show you what a bummer of a childhood he's had.
| Quote #5
And they high-fived and low-fived and back-fived, and Hands Down would laugh and Laugh.
Maniac loved trash talk. The words were different, but in some strange way they reminded him of church. It had spirit, it had what they called soul. Pretty soon he was talking trash with the rest of them.
And pretty soon he brought it home." (15.13-15)
Yikes, we thought Maniac was smart enough to know better than to trash talk Mrs. Beale! Again, he's so innocent that he just doesn't get it. He doesn't know that you don't talk to adults in the same way you talk to your friends. He's just… himself, no matter what.
| Quote #6
Maniac danced and pranced and screamed with the rest. He learned how to jump in front of the gusher and let it propel him halfway across the street. He joined in a snake dance. He got goofy. He drenched himself in all the wet and warm and happy. (17.8)
This is true innocence in the best sense: completely abandoning yourself to happiness. Too bad for Maniac, this is also the moment when he starts to lose it.