Maniac Magee

What are the motifs in Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli?

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Sports proves to be an important and unique kind of idea in the novel "Maniac Magee". Sports unite characters in the novel and break down the walls that separate race and age. Maniac’s athleticism allows him to bring attention to his strengths rather than his skin color. Initially, the theme is presented as Maniac amazes Two Mills with a spectacular football catch and baseball strike out. As the novel continues, his athleticism helps him fit into the East End community during the time he lives with the Beales. As a culmination of the theme, Grayson and Maniac’s mutual love for baseball allows them to open up and negate their tendencies to be guarded.