Maniac Magee info:
Interest Level: 4-8
Lexile Framework: 820L
Grade Level Equivalent: 5.4
Guided Reading Level: W
Genre: Classics, Realistic Fiction
Subject: Family Life, Prejudice and Tolerance Experiences, Individuality
Summary: He wasn’t born with the name Maniac Magee. He came into this world named Jeffrey Lionel Magee, but when his parents died and his life changed, so did his name. And Maniac Magee became a legend. Even today kids talk about how fast he could run; about how he hit an inside-the-park “frog” homer; how no knot, no matter how snarled, would stay that way once he began to untie it. But the thing Mania Magee is best known for is what he did for the kids from the East Side and those from the West Side.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Theme: Peer Pressure/Animal Rights
Summary:Palmer dreads his 10th birthday, when he will become a “wringer,” trained to wring the necks of pigeons gunned down in an annual shooting contest. The thought of killing the birds sickens him, as does the bullying behavior of his three buddies. When Palmer makes a pet of a stray pigeon, he struggles to find the courage needed to confront his peers and act according to his conscience.
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 6 and up
Theme: Bullying/Peer Pressure/Family Unity
Summary: Crash Coogan is befriended by the new school “dweeb” and does everything he can to discourage the friendship that Penn Web so badly wants. Crash insults and humiliates Penn, but Penn keeps coming back. Only when Crash’s adored grandfather, Scooter” becomes ill, does Crash find out who his real friends are, and the true meaning of friendship.
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Summary: Jerry Spinelli captures the collective, not-always-pretty emotions of a high school microcosm in which individuality is pitted against conformity. Spinelli’s Stargirl is a supernatural teen character–absolutely egoless, altruistic, in touch with life’s primitive rhythms, meditative, untouched by popular culture, and supremely self-confident. It is the sensitive Leo whom readers will relate to as he grapples with who she is, who he is, who they are together as Stargirl and Starboy, and indeed, what it means to be a human being on a planet that is rich with wonders.