Why did I never read this when I was younger?? I vaguely recall it being a popular book during my middle school years, especially with the boys, so ma...moreWhy did I never read this when I was younger?? I vaguely recall it being a popular book during my middle school years, especially with the boys, so maybe I somehow got the idea that it was a 'boy book.' I'm so glad I decided to finally read it. It was a quick read, and I was absolutely gripped by Paulsen's survival tale right from the very beginning pages. The author so expertly uses Brian's inner monologues as a writing technique, that I nearly didn't realize that the book has no dialogue to speak of. The writing and the story are just so good--definitely an 'unputdownable' book. Without being overly wordy, Paulsen paints a clear picture of 13-year-old Brian's weeks alone in the woods. I loved Brian; he was such a likeable and real character. My one criticism of the book is that the 'Epilogue' didn't seem to 'jibe' with the rest of the book. It was almost as if it had a different voice or style or something. But as a whole, I was hooked by this story. If you're looking for an enthralling survival story, I highly recommend this book.(less)
Let me preface this review: I distinctly remember that when I was in 4th grade, my teacher read this book aloud to our class. However, I could not rem...moreLet me preface this review: I distinctly remember that when I was in 4th grade, my teacher read this book aloud to our class. However, I could not remember the story at all, so I assumed it just wasn't very good or did not interest me. Boy was I wrong.
I'm so glad that I decided to give Spinelli's Newbery Award winning novel another chance as an adult. "Maniac Magee" is the wonderful story of Jeffrey Magee, a preteen orphan who runs away from his aunt and uncle's home...and doesn't stop running. It is such a clever story, full of humor and great descriptive writing. I think kids 10 and up could relate to Jeffrey's many predicaments on an emotional level, even if they have not encountered such issues as homelessness themselves. The messages of tolerance and compassion are deftly woven throughout the story. Spinelli, unlike other children's authors I've read, does not 'force' the "don't judge a book by its cover" theme into his narrative; instead, it seems to flow effortlessly into his storylines.
As a teacher, I absolutely recommend this to kids (and adults!) ten and older. It definitely has that "unputdownable" quality that great children's literature ought to have. (less)
This is a great starting book of a young adult series. Full of adventure and clever dialogue, it was highly entertaining. Definitely helps to have a b...moreThis is a great starting book of a young adult series. Full of adventure and clever dialogue, it was highly entertaining. Definitely helps to have a basic understanding of Greek mythology (or else some of the jokes won't seem so funny!). I can see how this book would hold great appeal for middle schoolers. As an adult reader, while I enjoyed reading this one, it wasn't 'unputdownable' and the writing and vocabulary choice were a little lacking, in my opinion. But I would recommend it for a fun summer-y read and to middle schoolers looking to read a clever adventure series.(less)