Narrative arcs and the prototypical “Plot Diagram” are essential for building literary comprehension and appreciation. Plot diagrams allow students to pick out major themes in the text, trace changes to major characters over the course of the narrative, and hone their analytic skills.
Maniac Magee, a novel by Jerry Spinelli, is about Jeffrey “Maniac” Magee, a boy who becomes an orphan when his parents die in a trolley accident. Maniac becomes a legend in Two Mills, a town with an East End for blacks and a West End for whites. Without a place to call home, Maniac bridges racial boundaries with his super athleticism, knot-tying abilities, and overall good character.