Jeffrey Lionel Magee was born in Hollidaysburg and lived with his mom and dad. One day, his parents died in a car accident and he moves in with his bickering Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan for 8 years. One day, it gets to his head in a school play and he runs away from his past. After that, Jeffrey was gone from history for a period called the Lost Year.
Living with Grayson
He suddenly ends up in Two Mills, PA as a scraggly little kid with used sneakers. There, he says hi to everyone he sees and meets Amanda Beale as she was going to grade school in the East End. He thinks that she was running away too because of a suitcase of books that she was holding, but it was full of books and he borrows one about the Children's Crusade.
Living with the McNab and Mars Bar In the West End
He carries the book all day while he hammers John McNab's fastballs and catches a football during a high school match. he comes back to the East End to Return the book to Amanda where he meets another bully named Mars Bars Thompson. Amanda rescues him and he begins to live there. After Mars Bar and an old man say that Maniac doesn't belong there, he runs away again.
Maniac Finally finds a home
728 Sycamore Street
Maniac lives with the buffalos for a while and eats carrots and old hamburgers. One day, he faints from exhaustion and an elderly zookeeper finds him and gives him shelter, food, and clothes. The zookeeper used to be a Minor League pitcher and told his stories with Maniac while catching baseballs. Sadly, the Zookeeper, named Grayson dies the day after Christmas.
Maniac is in Valley Forge when he comes across John McNab's brothers, Piper and Russel. He bribes them to go to school instead of run away to foreign countries with pizza. Soon, they make him do feats like knocking Finsterwald's front door for going to school. Then, it is the twin's birthday and Jeffrey brings a friend, Mars Bar so he could see that the West End wasn't so bad.
One day, Mars Bar comes to the zoo and asks Maniac to come and visit their house. Maniac says no because he's afraid of what would happen if he accepted. Then, Amanda Beale pulls up Maniac by the ear and tells him that he is going to stay in their house from now on or if Mars Bar / Snickers asks, sleep in their house. Maniac was just happy to have a place to officially call home!