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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. If Grayson had lived, Maniac's life might have changed significantly. Discuss what may have occurred, particularly in regard to Maniac's bringing the West and East Enders together.

2. Why is the McNabs description of blacks as "today's Indians" likely to be offensive to blacks and native Americans? Are there other ethnic groups today that people like the McNabs might label this way? Why? Where do they live?

3. The book says that girls in elementary school in Two Mills still have a jump rope chant that begins "Ma-niac, Ma-niac, He's so cool . . ." Find examples in the book that could be used to support this idea.

4. Between the time that Maniac flees from Hollidaysbury and when he finally arrives in Two Mills, a year passes. What might have gone on during that year? How could he have survived? Is this credible today?

(The entire section is 359 words.)