Make your own free website on

Maniac Magee

This idea was taken from Mailbox magazine June/July 1993, written by Deborah Calvert- Gr. 5, Landis Elementary, Alief, TX


This 1991 Newberry Medal winner is the story of a young boy who works to unite a town divided by racial prejudices. During reading, each of my students kept a private response journal in which he reacted to the events in the story. As a culminating activity, each child put himself in the place of Jeffrey "Maniac" Magee and wrote about whether he would have tried to unite the town. My students held passionate views about fighting prejudice, which led to a wonderful discussion of how to incorporate their ideas into our school and community. It was the most painless lesson on persuasive writing that I've ever taught!