Reviews for Maniac Magee

AudioFile Reviews 2002 February/March
What's truth, what's myth? Did Maniac Magee really do all those amazing feats and deeds, or is it just story? Orphaned at 3 and raised by hateful relatives, Jeffrey Lionel Magee finally runs away--and lands in Two Mills, Pennsylvania, and the stories begin. Winner of the 1991 Newbery Medal, MANIAC MAGEE is a touching story about a boy who makes a difference because he doesn't allow pre-conceived notions, prejudice, and others' expectations to interfere with his behaviors and his life. S. Epatha Merkerson does a masterful job as Amanda, Mars Bar, Maniac, and the narrator, as well as the other characters who inhabit the story. Her tone, diction, and accent clearly differentiate those from the East Side and the West. She gives her characters strength, individuality, and attitude, while the narrator remains neutral yet amused by the stories and the legend of this unflappable boy. A superb rendering of an exceptional book! W.L.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2002 February
Gr 3-6-Half tall tale, half novel, Jerry Spinelli's Newbery award winner (Little, 1990) is beautifully narrated by film and television actress S. Epatha Merkerson. The story, which explores such complex concepts as home and race relations, is consistently fresh and surprising. Maniac's search for an address to call his own is poignant, while his feats such as untying Cobble's knot and hitting an "inside-the-park home-run but" with a "frogball" are pure tall tale. Merkerson's word-for-word narration is excellent. She gives subtle distinction to the accents and speech of such varied characters as McNab, Mars Bar, Amanda Beale, and Grayson. Her voice could serve as a definition of the word mellifluous, which makes listening to the story even more pleasurable. No music or other sound effects interrupt the text. Technical quality is excellent throughout. This would be an excellent choice for group listening in classrooms, and is equally good for individual listening. Definitely a first purchase choice for all audiobook collections serving elementary grade students.-Louise Sherman, formerly Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.