Why does Amanda Beale come to take Maniac Magee home at the end of Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli? 

Why does Amanda Beale come to take Maniac Magee home at the end of Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli?

 

Expert Answers
charsteph88 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the book, Maniac Magee is rather lost and searching for something that he's not sure exists yet: a permanent place to call his own with people who care about him. His parents have died, and his aunt and uncle hate each other and so rather than be unhappy, he runs away to start a new life on his own. At first, he is taken in by his new friend Amanda Beale and her loving family. However, due to racial tensions between the white side of town and the black, he is targeted for living with a black girl and her family. After many failed attempts at finding a home for himself, Maniac Magee is once again left alone.

At the end of the book, Amanda Beale comes back to get him, and they both realize that even though life is challenging and not everyone will accept you everywhere you go, a real family who loves and cherishes you is hard to come by. At this point, after so much hardship and almost starving to death, Maniac realizes that it is foolish to reject love and happiness when one finds it, even if it is not ideal. So too does his enemy, Mars Bar, when he teams up with Amanda to find Maniac and learns acceptance of others. The moral of the story and the powerful actions behind those two black characters show the reader that although it's challenging to fit in in a different culture, at the most basic level we are all human beings in need of love and acceptance; we all have the capacity to help one another.