What present did Maniac take for Piper, and under what conditions could he have it in Maniac Magee?
Maniac gives Piper a compass, and he can only have it if he goes to school every day.
Piper asks Maniac for his birthday present, and Maniac pulls it out of his pocket.
Maniac pulled the present from his pocket. Piper exclaimed: “A watch!”
“No,” said Maniac, “A compass. It tells you which direction you’re going.” (ch 42)
Maniac says Piper can only have the gift under one condition. Russell and Piper have to go to school every day. If they go to school every day for the rest of the school year, Piper can keep the gift.
The compass is another example of Maniac’s uniqueness. He really wants to look out for Piper and Russell, like a big brother. Though Maniac has very little, he still cares about others and thinks of others first.