510-2 Maniac Magee (Chapters 33-46)

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Maniac Magee

Possible Answers


1. Do you believe Maniac's decision to die was right or wrong?  Explain you answer.
Possible Answer:  This is a very difficult question to answer.  I can understand why he wanted to do it because so much of his life was bad.  It must have seemed to him like the only thing to do after he found Grayson dead.  However, he seemed to forget that the Beale and the Pickwell families loved him. 


2.  The author never mentions a mother figure in the household of the McNabs.  Why?
Possible Answer:  I believe Mr. and Mrs. McNab were divorced.  The way the author describes the house they live in, it sounds like she hasn't been around for a very long time.


3. Maniac Magee performed many heroic feats.  Think of someone you know who has performed a heroic feat and compare it to one of Maniac's.
Possible Answer:  The person that comes to mind is Rosa Parks.  She was a very strong woman who wasn't afraid to do what she believed was right.  She would not give up her seat for a white man on a public bus.  Maniac was also very strong when he took on the challenges of the black people.


4. Why do you think Maniac was so upset he beat Mars Bar in the race?
Possible Answer:  He was more upset about how he beat him.  Winning the race by running backward was even more of an embarrassment to Mars Bar.  He was ashamed of himself because he had hurt Mars Bar unnecessarily.


5.  What is meant by the following line from Chapter 39.  "March doubled back and grabbed April by the scruff of the neck and flung it another week or two down the road?
Possible Answer:  It means that spring was another one or two weeks later.


6.  Do you agree that Giant John McNab should have been preparing for a revolt by the black people?  Explain.
Possible Answer:  It seems wrong that he thought this was even possible.  Yet if he knew as little about the black people as Grayson did, I can understand.  I don't think violence is the right way to solve problems.


7.  What is another way the McNabs could have prepared for a confrontation with the black people?
Possible Answer:  The McNabs should have listened to Maniac Magee.  They were not willing to accept what he told them.  Maybe they were afraid.  They could have asked Maniac to take them to the other end of town and introduce them to the people he knew.  This would be the peaceful way.


8.  Why was it important that Mars Bar rescue Piper McNab from the railroad trestle?
Possible Answer:  This was the part in the story when everything changed between the whites and the blacks.  Piper wouldn't let go of Mars Bar so he brought him to his house.  For the first time the whites are able to experience the kindness of the black people, and not fear them.  It is easy to be afraid of what you do not know or understand.  I like the way the author, Jerry Spinelli made this occur.


9.  What did Maniac mean when he told Mars Bar he could not come to his house because things happen?
Possible Answer:  Maniac was trying to tell him that something bad might happen.  The last time he had an address, a place to call home, and someone to love him, Grayson died.  I think Maniac is afraid to get too comfortable because something may happen again.


10.  Tell about your favorite part in the book Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli.
Possible Answer:  My favorite part was the ending.  As I read the book I believed all along that it would be a happy ending.  Maniac had so much sorrow in his life.  Amanda Beale was the perfect person to find him and drag him back home.



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