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Maniac Magee

Maniac Magee

by Jerry Spinelli

Innocence Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Maniac Magee was not born in a dump. He was born in a house, a pretty ordinary house, right across the river from here, in Bridgeport. And he had regular parents, a mother and a father. (1.1)

Okay, but is Maniac really normal to start? He has a normal family, but we still think that there must be something special about him.

Quote #2

Then the giggling stopped, and eyes started to shift and heads started to turn, because now everybody could see that this wasn't part of the show at all, that little Jeffrey Magee wasn't supposed to be up there on the risers, pointing to his aunt and uncle, bellowing out from the midst of the chorus: "Talk! Talk, will ya! Talk! Talk! Talk!" (1.11-12)

We still think Maniac could have handled this better, but it does show his innocence: he says—screams—what he's thinking. There's no adult deception and silence in this one.

Quote #3

But it was something they heard that made him stick in their minds all these years. As he passed them, he said, "Hi." Just that—"Hi"—and he was gone. They stopped, they blinked, they turned, they started after him, they wondered: Do I know that kid? Because people just didn't' say that to strangers, out of the blue. (2.7)

Gee, the world might be a nicer place if we were all this innocent. Think about it: why do you avoid saying "Hi"? Because you're afraid of strangers? Because you don't trust people? Because you're not innocent enough to think they'll respond?

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