Spinelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1990.
And another question: Why did he stay here? Why Two Mills?
Of course, there's the obvious answer that sitting right across Schyulkill is Bridgeport, where he was born. Yet there are other theories. Some say he just got tired of running. Some say it was the butterscotch Krimpets. And some say he only intended to pause here but that he stayed because he was so happy to make a friend.
Maniac (born Jeffrey Lionel) Magee is an orphaned child that can run faster than anyone, untie any knot, and see past any skin color. According to legend, that is. When he runs away to Two Mills, he finds himself bridging the gap between the racially divided town, and fighting to show everyone that the two races are not as different as they think.
One of my favorite books of all time. A kid that really and truly doesn’t need adults, what more can you ask of a YA hero? Maniac can do anything, isn’t afraid of anyone, and has a heart of gold. Apart from this, there is an incredible subplot of racism. There isn’t a wasted word in the entire story, it’s brilliant. This novel is a masterpiece.