100 Scope Notes
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Covering the Newbery (#70): Maniac Magee

I firmly believe a person can only look at so many Flickr search results pages before going insane. I met that threshold this time out and so:

1. I am now insane.

2. I resorted to something I’ve never done before – I made my own drawing. Here goes…

1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Original Cover:

My Redo:

Side by Side:

Verdict: I wanted Cobble’s Knot, so the knot we have. Although it sort of looks like a multicolored hairball.

Click here for the Covering the Newbery gallery.

Up Next Week: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I prefer your cover!

  2. Maniac Magee is one of my all-time favorite books! That being said, I LOVE your cover! :)

  3. Great cover for Maniac. I’m forwarding this to Jerry and his wife, Eileen (my long-time friends and mentors in both life AND writing.) They’ll love to see what you did here, I’m sure. Also–take a look at the July 16th issue of Newsweek, wherein they point out real instances of insanity-by-technology overload. Bring on the pencils & paper!!

  4. This is a fabulous rendition of the Maniac Magee cover! Cobble’s Knot = brilliant :)

  5. I love it! Maniac Magee is one of my all time favorite books! I’m going to miss reading it this year to my 4th graders….since I’m at 2nd now.