More Maniacs Please
December 11, 2012 7:24 AM   Subscribe

My Son loves Maniac MaGee!

My eleven year old son is an avid reader and his recent infatuation has been with two authors, one is Jerry Spinalli and his novel Maniac Magee and the other is Gennifer Choldenko and the novel Al Capone Does My Shirts.

I am looking for other books that might be in the similar vein, any thoughts much appreciated.

posted by silsurf to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:59 AM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I also love maniac Magee. Another of my favorite books at that age were Sounder and Rascal. Not sure if either of those scratch the same itch, but I loved them all the same.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 8:03 AM on December 11, 2012

I believe I can help you out on this one, because once upon a time, I loved the Maniac MaGee AND Al Capone Does My Shirts books, too!

Other favorites:
Holes by Louis Sachar was a staple part of my childhood. It was made into a (surprisingly) pretty good movie, but the book is still better. Most of my friends read it, and I recall that they all loved it too.
Frindle, The School Story, and A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements. Clements is an all-around great kids' author, but these three were my favorites. I'd recommend starting with Frindle between the three, just as I did.
Stargirl by the aforementioned Jerry Spinelli. There is a sequel, Love, Stargirl, but I haven't read it.
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. It's a little different from the others, but it was definitely one of my all-time favorite books as a kid.

Basically, these are all books (like Maniac MaGee and Al Capone Does My Shirts) about kids who are rebelling in their own unique ways against societal conventions made by adults.

Hope you and your son find these suggestions helpful!
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 8:11 AM on December 11, 2012

He might like the books in the Tillerman Cycle by Cynthia Voigt.
posted by zizzle at 8:22 AM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just get him all of Jerry Spinelli's books. He's written dozens and all of the ones I've read (many) have been excellent.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:31 AM on December 11, 2012

I loved Maniac Magee, and when I was just a smidge older than your son I really started liking the Paul Zindel books (Pigman, The Undertaker's Gone Bananas, etc.). I think there may have been a similar mix of humor and serious issues there (though Zindel is darker).

I loved Avi as well when I was around that age, particularly The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
posted by frobozz at 8:54 AM on December 11, 2012

I suspect he'd like Chris Crutcher's work.
posted by commander biscuit at 9:17 AM on December 11, 2012

> Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

Honestly, everything by Gary Paulsen is pretty damn great.

Our 11 year old son also loved the Sammy Keyes mystery series by Wendelin Van Draanen. It's a fun series that's fairly contemporary, and the main character definitely has some attitude.

Same goes for all of the works of Eoin Colfer. The Artemis Fowl series is his big ticket item, but his earlier books are also a hoot, as was his "Half Moon Detective Agency." Our son really enjoyed his books.
posted by mosk at 10:34 AM on December 11, 2012

Maniac Magee was my favorite at that age. I also liked the My Side of the Mountain books, the City of Gold and Lead trilogy (which I hear will be movies soon), and The Indian in the Cupboard books (The movie was terrible). And Robinson Crusoe.
posted by cmoj at 10:42 AM on December 11, 2012

I've always loved The Little Prince. And I mean always.
posted by cthuljew at 11:12 AM on December 11, 2012

Maniac Magee won the Newbury in 1991. Pretty much every other Newbury winner or Newbury honor book is terrific.

Was also going to say My Side of the Mountain, by JCG. I also liked Who Really Killed Cock Robin?, which opened my eyes as a kid to the nuances of environmentalism in a way that the cartoony villians in Captain Planet never could and taught me that even if someone in a position of authority meant well, that didn't mean they weren't part of the problem.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:48 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

+1 to Gary Paulsen and more Jerry Spinelli. Also, Christopher Paul Curtis, especially Bud, Not Buddy.
posted by kayram at 6:26 PM on December 11, 2012

The Toothpaste Millionaire
posted by abitha! at 6:28 PM on December 11, 2012

I remember really liking the Egypt Game around the same age that I read Maniac Magee.
posted by duvatney at 9:58 PM on December 11, 2012

I remember really liking Daniel Pinkwater books around that age, Lizard Music and others, a little more silly than most, but still dealing with lots of things like the strangeness of adults, and getting older.

Seconding Hatchet and My side of the mountain.
posted by dreamling at 11:32 PM on December 11, 2012

Awesome rec's folks, thanks so much!
posted by silsurf at 12:51 AM on December 12, 2012

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