Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Maniac Magee


Title: Maniac Magee


Author: Jerry Spinelli

Summary: Jeffrey "Maniac" Magee is a young boy who had to deal with the horrific death of his parents. After their death, he ran away from home and found himself in a small town plagued by racism.  This town was literally divided in half by the main road.  The black people lived on one side, and the white people lived on the other.  The two groups did not even imagine crossing the main road.  Maniac, however, does not understand or believe in the racism that is felt by this town.  So, he travels throughout the town to try to change the beliefs of the people who live there.

Social Justice: This book obviously teaches about racism and offers a perfect example for what it means to stand up for what you believe in.  It answers many questions surrounding the issue of racism and then empowers students by showing progressive change.

Teaching Resources
http://atkinson.esu8.org/maniac/fun_in_the_kitchen.htm
http://www.mce.k12n.net/reading47/maniac_magee.htm, http://www.teachervision.fen.com/literature/activity/8976.html#activities

TV Movie: http://imbd.com/title/tt0246063/

To Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Maniac-Magee-Jerry-Spinelli/dp/0590452037/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202672247&sr=8-1

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