Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Newbery Winner 1991, young adult challenge
I borrowed this from the library for my son, but he wasn't interested. I decided to read it since it was a Newbery winner and it was really good. When it got to one of the chapters behind the legend of Maniac Magee, I read it aloud since it was describing a baseball game, and my son is now into baseball mode, tossing the ball all the time, in the living room. I read a few paragraphs, and he was on baited breath, listening. I stopped after a few paragraphs, but he wanted more. I read the whole chapter, and I passed it on to him as I finished the book. Whew, sometimes it takes quite a bit of work to interest a child in a good book.
This book is part folklore, of the legend of Maniac Magee, part modern, as Maniac lives on the street, with no home, and part awareness, as race relations are one of the by products of Maniac's adventures. I loved the fable aspect of the story; the legend of Maniac will obviously have some exaggerations as all fables do, but the truth is in there, is you look. Maniac lives on the fringes of the town, and yet he touches many of the residents.
I laughed, I cried, I really liked this little book.