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Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli

He wasn't born with the name Maniac Magee. He came into this world named Jeffrey Lionel Magee, but when his parents died and his life changed, so did his name. And Maniac Magee became a legend. Even today kids talk about how fast he could run; about how he hit an inside-the-park "frog" homer; how no knot, no matter how snarled, would stay that way once he began to untie it. But the thing Mania Magee is best known for is what he did for the kids from the East Side and those from the West Side.

He was special all right, and this is his story, and it's a story that is very careful not to let the facts get mixed up with the truth. In the end Maniac solves his problems and finds his forever home. I would use this story in a 5th-6th grade classroom to try to teach students better ways to solve there problems. It is crucial for all students, especially older ones to know that  the solution for problems is never to run away from them. My 6th grade class at Centerville Middle School are currently reading this book and they love it so much that it encouraged me to want to use it in my own classroom as well.