Maddie's Reviews > Maniac Magee

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
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Jul 04, 11

This book is quite possibly one of the most poorly written works of fiction I have ever had the misfortune to stumble upon. I personally am not a fan of Jerry Spinelli (with the exception of Stargirl), and thought I would give him one last shot. Not only was the writing itself unbearable and slow, the topic is overused and cliché. The emotions are few and far between. Throw in there a sad, pathetic kid whose life does not improve whatsoever and some other worthless surface characters and you have the trainwreck that is Maniac Magee. Never again shall I waste time with one of his books. It might just be me, but almost all of Jerry Spinelli's protagonists have tragic, horrible lives (which I get, I totally understand the appeal), but the lives of these characters never turn positive--Loser, Milkweed, even Stargirl! Maniac Magee is no exception. None of his stories really have tangible plots. This book made me feel absolutely nothing--except joy that I have FINALLY found a book horrible enough to douse in kerosene and throw in the fireplace. Isn't the point of reading to feel some sort of happiness?
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Anna Grace I am not saying you have to like the book (and I agree that most children's literature is strangely depressing) but the book did have a happy ending.

Magee ends up living with Amanda's family and making the neighborhood a better place. Why did you find that ending sad? (honestly wondering, not trying to be rude)

Maddie I never said I didn't like the ending--but it was rather mediocre now that I think about it. For me, it's more about the journey than the destination. All of Spinelli's books kind of suck in that aspect. It's depressing. I guess you have to add pockets of joy and happiness to a depressing book to keep the reader from being sad all the way through, but Maniac Magee didn't even have that.

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