by Jerry Spinelli
Maniac Magee Theme of Prejudice
A cement fort in the living room. Thinking that black people don't eat the same food as whites. Being afraid to walk on the wrong side of the street. Prejudice is all over Maniac Magee, and in a town where the place a person lives is determined by the color of their skin, this shouldn't surprise anybody. We see people run the whole gamut in this book, from open minded to extremely prejudiced, to just ignorant. What's the difference, and how does it affect relationships? That's for us to know—and for Maniac to find out.
Questions About Prejudice
- How would Maniac's story have been different if he hadn't been driven out of the East End by the prejudices of others?
- Why don't the Beales do more to make sure Maniac doesn't experience the prejudice against him?
- Why does Maniac take Mars Bar to the Pickwells before the McNabs?
- Are Russell and Piper going to grow up to be more open minded and less prejudiced than their dad?
Chew on This
Maniac's own inability to see the differences in people ends up making him more vulnerable to others' prejudices.
Maniac's relationship with the McNabs, particularly Russell and Piper, isn't over yet—now that he has a solid home base in the East End, he has even more ability to change their minds and ways of thinking.