In the book Maniac Magee, how does reading bring Maniac and Grayson closer together in chapter 27?

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 27 brings Maniac Magee and Grayson closer together, because the chapter is a role reversal between the two characters.  In chapter 26 Grayson and Maniac spent time together playing catch.  Grayson also taught Maniac about the "stop ball."  It's a special kind of pitch that messes with the batter's focus.  At the end of chapter 26, Grayson finds out that Maniac is largely self taught.  

"You know the money you give me"-- each morning he gave the kid fifty cents or a dollar to get himself some Krimpets -- "well, I take it up to the library. Right inside the door they have these books they're selling, cases of them, old books they don't want anymore. They only cost five or ten cents apiece." He pointed to the piles. "I buy them."

He figures if Maniac can do it, then so can he.  Grayson asks Maniac to teach him how to read.  

Two days later, while playing pepper in the Legion infield, the old man said to the kid, "So why don't you go ahead and teach me how to read!"

Now that Maniac is the teacher, the relationship between the two characters has slightly changed.  Grayson doesn't see himself as the adult authority figure anymore, and Maniac isn't the young pupil anymore.  Simply by asking Maniac to help shows that Grayson has a lot of trust and faith in Maniac.  Maniac doesn't want to let him down, so Maniac pushes Grayson hard.  The two characters are drawn closer together, because they are spending more time together on something that involves a lot of time and patience on both of their parts.  I think that the two characters are also drawn closer together because Grayson was successful in learning to read as well.  By being successful, both characters associate positive feelings about it and each other.

Maniac whooped, "You're reading!"

"I'm reading!" yipped the old man. His smile was so wide he'd have had to break it into sections to fit it through a doorway.