Maniac Magee is about a boy who struggled throughout his life. His name was Jeffrey Lionel Magee, sometimes known as Maniac Magee. His parents died in a trolley accident when he was three years old. He is patient, determined, and he really wants to be loved and understood.
He spent eight years in bizarre household of his Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan, who hated each other but refused to divorce. They lived in the same house without speaking to each other, using Magee as their go-between. He tried to have them talk to each other but he failed, so in the middle of his school concert Magee screamed: “Talk to each other”, and then ran away. That was the beginning of his run and search for a real home. He ended up in the town of Two Mills, two hundred miles away from his aunt and uncle. The Jeffrey meats a black girl called Amanda Beale, who introduced him to the town and told him that this town is divided by race into East and West Ends. It is with Amanda and her family that Magee found a home. In Two Mills, he was called “Maniac Magee” after defeating John McNab, a giant five feet eight twelve year old child, in a baseball game. McNab was a member of the Cobras, a survivalist gang who hates and fear blacks. Magee has a strong sense of justice, a thirst for knowledge, and an amazing lack of fear. The only time that he showed fear in the book was when he did not walk out on trolley trestle where his parents were killed, not even to help a frightened little boy.
Magee then met a new friend called Earl Grayson, an old man at the zoo. Magee helped Grayson how to read and then he found a home with him at the zoo bandstand. At the end of a story Grayson dies and therefore Magee was left alone in the streets struggling to live. He finally meets Amanda who took him to her house.
In the book Maniac Magee, a legend was born in Jeffrey Magee. He achieved something that no was has achieved before and that in uniting the town by forcing some of the blacks and the whites to know each other.