Name that book I half-remember from my childhood, episode n
April 11, 2014 7:36 AM   Subscribe

It was a young adult (early teen or late pre-teen?) novel, featuring a boy who ran along railroad tracks.

Something happened to the boy's family, and he started running down the railroad tracks, balancing perfectly on one of the rails. Maybe he had been running a bunch before the event that happened to his family, and so had developed good balance and stamina? He ran and ran and ran, though many different towns. Sometimes people talked to him along the way. I think someone or something stopped him at some point (in a good, finding a new home sort of way, I think). It was published before 1991, probably some time in the 80s, probably not pre-70s if my memory is at all accurate. It might have been a Scholastic book - a middle school teacher read it to us. Ring any bells?
posted by sockpuppet13 to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Yes! Jerry Spinelli's Maniac Magee!
posted by pretentious illiterate at 7:46 AM on April 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Came here to say Maniac Magee, got beaten to it.
posted by namewithoutwords at 8:29 AM on April 11, 2014

Also, for the benefit of any Maniac Magee fans who are lifelong West Coasters (like myself), you should all know that BUTTERSCOTCH KRIMPETS ARE REAL. I love that book but always thought they were a fictional snack since they're described with such reverence. Nope.
posted by redsparkler at 8:32 AM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yes, as someone who lives within the Tastykake delivery area, they're definitely real (and predate the book, for anyone curious). I don't like them nearly as much as Maniac does.
posted by namewithoutwords at 8:36 AM on April 11, 2014

Came in to confirm Maniac Magee. Love this book, one of my all-time favorites. I still think of this book whenever I have to untie a difficult knot.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 10:50 AM on April 11, 2014

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