Chapter 36 part 3
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Maniac brought the McNab's a sense of importance.
Ever since the famous Maniac Magee had showed up at their house, Russell and Piper McNab had be- come famous in their own right. Other kids were always crowding around, pelting them with questions. What's he like! What's he say! What's he do! Did he really sit on Finsterwald's front steps! Is he really that fast!
Kids started giving them knots -- sneaker laces, yo- yo strings, toys -- and saying, "Ask Maniac to undo this, will ya!" Really little kids referred to him as "Mr. Maniac."
The McNabs ate it up. In the streets, the play- grounds, school. The attention, not the pizza, was the real reason they put up with school each day. They began to feel something they had never felt before. They began to feel important.
What a wonderful thing, this importance. Waiting for them the moment they awoke in the morning, pumping them up like basketballs, giving them bounce. And they hadn't even had to steal it! They loved it. The more they had, the more they wanted.