I read this book in fifth grade, and I loved it. I bought the book, because I loved it that much. Maniac Magee's parents die in a car crash, and he runs away. He just runs and runs until he comes to a new town with new faces. He doesn't understand the way the town works, though, and how the white people mostly stay on the West Side, the black people on the East. So, he ends up making friends with some of everybody, softening up and showing up the bullies from both sides, and ultimately bringing the town together. And finding himself a home in the process.
I read it again recently, and it's still a good read. Everything is too easy in it--there's not much that's realistic about the book--but the characters draw you in. And the important thing in a children's book is that children like it, and I certainly did, when I was one.