Compare and contrast Two Mills from Maniac Magee to today's society.

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In a lot of ways, the society of Two Mills is quite similar to a modern day society. That should not be overly surprising due to the fact that the book isn't set that far in the past. Since Grayson pitched to Willie Mays, we know the book is taking place after the 1960s. Two Mills is a town that is racially diverse like modern day society. The town is quite racially divided with black and white people actually living on different sides of town, and that is seen much less today than it used to be seen. Deep racism exists in Two Mills, and it would be naive of me to say that racism on that level is gone from modern day society. Even if racism didn't exist in modern day society, there is still plenty of "us" versus "them" kind of thinking that exists across any number of divisions.

Two Mills also contains a variety of family structures that mirror current societal family structures. Maniac is a child that no longer lives with either parent. His parents were killed, and that is why they are gone from his life, but I have plenty of students that live with grandparents because their mom and dad are not capable of caring for their children. Readers are also shown families, like the McNab family, that are together but quite dysfunctional and abusive. Conversely, we are shown the Beale family that is an incredibly loving and welcoming family unit.

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