In the book Maniac Magee, how is the Pickwell family like the Beale family?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Maniac had dinner with the Pickwell family for the second time. He sat at the old ping pong table with Mr. and Mrs. Pickwell, their many children, their extended family, and a shoe salesman who was a guest. While there, Maniac "ate and talked and laughed his way through dinner." This happy time of togetherness made him remember the Beale family. It had been almost a year since he lived with the family, but his memories of them were still fond. Maniac thought about "how alike the two families were: friendly, giving, accepting."

The Beale and Pickwell families had many differences, and yet they had much in common. The Pickwell family was very large. They were white and lived on the West End of town. The Beale family was smaller. They were black and lived on the East End of town. Despite these differences, both families welcomed Maniac Magee. They fed him and showed him that they cared. They accepted him without question. They made him feel loved. As Maniac sat eating at the large ping pong table, "he could picture the Beales' brown faces around this dinner table, and the little Pickwell kids' white bodies in the bathtub."

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team