Maniac Magee

Maniac Magee Metaphors and Similes

Rock in a Stream (Simile)

"He and Amanda and the suitcase were like a rock in a stream; the school-goers just flowed to the left and right around them." (11)

This turn of phrase, used the first time Jeffery meets Amanda, describes how the other school children flowed around them, not bothered by them being together. This contradicts other times that Jeffery's skin color makes him stand out, shows their shared focus on the books Amanda carries, and evokes a sense of nature through the use of the image of a rock and a stream.

Mouse (Metaphor)

"He's paralyzed, a mouse in front of the yawning maw of a python." (18)

This metaphor is used during the story about Arnold Jones and the other boys being afraid of a certain house. Comparing the child to a frightened mouse makes it even more clear how he feels small compared to the great fear the house evokes for East End children.

Rain (Metaphor)

"It was raining red and green hats." (25)

Spinelli uses the image of rain to show how everyone's hats are thrown up and fall back from the air as Jeffery hits home runs. Authors often use things "raining down" as a metaphor for there being a lot of something or a commotion of things falling from above.

Professor (Metaphor)

"With a ball in his hand, the park handyman became a professor." (97)

This quote shows how Earl, and Jeffery's perception of Earl, changes when it is revealed he used to play Minor League baseball. When Earl talks about baseball he has a confidence and intelligence that is hidden in his usual life as groundskeeper at the zoo.

Wide Smile (Metaphor)

"His smile was so wide he'd have had to break it into sections to fit it through a doorway." (102)

This incredible metaphor describes just how happy Earl is about reading a simple sentence with the help of Jeffery. The idea that his smile couldn't fit through a door is a very creative way of saying he had the biggest smile ever, proud of his accomplishment.