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Freak The Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Freak The Mighty (original 1993; edition 2001)

by Rodman Philbrick

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2,0521093,249 (3.96)53
Title:Freak The Mighty
Authors:Rodman Philbrick
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2001), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:realistic fiction

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Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick (1993)

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    Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (weener)
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    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (Whisper1)
    Whisper1: This books is similar in humor and poignancy.

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A children’s chapter book I read is Freak The Mighty. I enjoyed this story and would recommend it for many reasons. One reason is because of the characters. I like how one of the characters is called “Freak” throughout the story because it is uncommon for a book to label a character that way. I believe he is very relatable because he was a character that did not fit in, so children can relate to Freak who may feel they do not belong. Another reason I prefer the book is because of the text feature in the back of the book. Freak created a dictionary for his friend in the story, and it is included within the last pages of the chapter. An example is the word boats with Freak’s definition of, “Shoes big enough to fit Max Kane.” The dictionary has several random words with unique definitions created by Freak himself. The message of the story is definitely that friendships can develop when you least expect them and may even be with someone you least expect. In the beginning of the story, Max meets Freak and they are completely different people. However, they end up becoming great friends and help each other in so many great ways. I would recommend this book for fifth to eighth graders and for teachers to use as a read aloud. ( )
  Mroeme1 | Oct 26, 2015 |
I loved Rodman Philbrick's "Freak the Mighty," and I would give it five stars. One aspect of the book that I particularly liked was that Max, the narrator, was a very sympathetic character to whom I found it easy to relate. Max's first-person, conversational narrative was written using language which I can easily imagine a typical 13 or 14-year-old boy using when relating a story to a friend. This conversational language includes asides to the reader like, "does that make any sense?" and exclamations used to convey emotion, such as, "like whoa! talk about laser beams!" Max also uses a variety of humorous descriptive phrases, like when he describes Grim as wearing a "whacked-by-a-hammer grin," and when he says that Mrs. Donelli's sour expression looks "like she stepped in something and she can't get it off her shoe." This type of language made me feel as if Max were actually speaking to me and telling me the story of his friendship with Kevin in his own words. The only difference between Max's language and the language a teenage boy would use in conversation, I found, was that Max uses a close first-person narration, meaning that he is candid about his inner thoughts and emotions. I believe that this form of narration made it even easier for me to connect to Max as a character, as I was able to know much more about him beyond that which he shares with his words and his actions. Another aspect of the book that I liked was the relationship between Max and Kevin. Individually, both boys are vulnerable to bullying and judgement, but together they overcome obstacles as a team, which Kevin names "Freak the Mighty." Max carries Kevin on his shoulders to compensate for Kevin's small size, while Kevin helps Max to realize his academic potential. As a team, the boys go on adventures, or "quests," to distract themselves from the harsh realities of everyday life. With Kevin, Max does not feel stupid because of his learning disability or destined to become a criminal like his murderer father, "Killer Kane." With Max, Kevin does not feel small or limited by his dwarfism and he is able to experience a relatively normal childhood despite knowing that he will die at a young age. While friendship is a central theme in the novel, I found the main message to be more individualistic. The "big idea" of the book is that everyone has the power to choose what kind of life to lead and what kind of person to become regardless of pre-existing labels and assumptions. Kevin teaches Max that he is smart and capable of learning, despite the fact that he was wrongly placed in the "L.D." class years ago. Through his friendship with Kevin, Max realizes that his enormous size and dark family history do not define him, and that he is able to be a gentle and kind person in spite of the fact that his father murdered his mother. With Max's hel, Kevin learns that his size does not have to be a limitation, and that he is capable of making a big difference in the world. Kevin uses his intellect to outsmart Killer Kane, thwarting the murderer's attempt to strangle both Max and Loretta to death. Although he is small, Kevin becomes a hero like King Arthur and Lancelot, whom he deeply admires. In all, I thought that "Freak the Mighty" is a fantastic story that is definitely worth reading. ( )
  lhirsc2 | Oct 25, 2015 |
Freak the Mighty is a contemporary realistic fiction chapter book that has extremely realistic characters. I really liked the characters of Max and Kevin and the accurate portrayal of their disabilities. In my special education classes, we have learned to think of person before the disability. It is really easy to judge a person before getting to know them. For example, when Max first meets Kevin, he refers to him as the “little freak.” Once they get to know each other, Max appreciates how smart he is and how passionate he is. The author’s writing style was very conversational and easy to read. This made me feel very invested in Max and Kevin’s friendship. There were many times I felt like I was rooting for the Freak the Mighty duo on their quests like when they were getting away from the bullies, returning Loretta’s purse, and defeating Killer Kane. The main message of the story is to not judge a book by its cover. Once you take the time to get to know a person, you can be pleasantly surprised. ( )
  VictoriaStagg | Oct 22, 2015 |
Freak the Mighty is set in the past; Maxwell recalls the adventures and describes his story in great detail, as if he is telling it to an old friend. The author captivates the reader by including several details, making it feel as if they are actually there, conquering the world with Freak and Max. Max and Freak are both detailed characters; both are filled with a swarm of thoughts and daydreams, not to mention a complicated past. Rodman Philbrick portrayed the characters in such an incredible way. Readers will find themselves eager to delve into the crazy world of Kevin and Max; this story is beautiful as it easily attracts readers by the strange friendship of Freak the Mighty. Rodman Philbrick most definitely achieved his goal: to teach kids that not everyone has to be alike to be friends. Balancing and supporting each other, picking up for the things the other person lacks, that’s what true friendship is. ( )
  JenniferNavarrete | Oct 20, 2015 |
I liked this book the most because of the relationship between the two main characters. Independently both characters had trouble fitting in but together they balanced each other out. They learned to work as a team to do things. On page 35 Max says, “Now I’m running at a full gallop, weaving through the crowd, and I don’t even need to look back, all I have to do is follow the way Freak is kicking his feet, steering me.” Both characters need each other.
I also liked this book because of the foreshadowing of the events with Max’s father. In the beginning of the book his father is said to be in prison for life but on page 70 Iggy says, “Life ain’t life, how many times I tell you that?” This intrigued me to continue reading to find out if his father would eventually show up and what he would do.
I think that the main idea for this story is friendship and teamwork. Even in the end of the story when Max is kidnaped, Kevin (aka “Freak”) comes to save him and they work together to escape. The book is an example of how important friendship is. ( )
  kmurph30 | Oct 11, 2015 |
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To the real Kevin, and the real Gwen, with love.
First words
I never had a brain until Freak came along and let me borrow his for a while, and that's the truth, the whole truth.
So out we go. It's a habit by now, Freak riding up high on my shoulders and using his little feet to steer me if I forget where we're going.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439286069, Paperback)

Two boys – a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces – forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force. (Made into the film, The Mighty.) * \u201cA wonderful story of triumph over imperfection, shame, and loss.\u201d – School Library Journal, starred review \u201cCompelling…written with energy and…humor.\u201d – The Bulletin for the Center of Children\u2019s Books

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:18 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

At the beginning of eighth grade, learning disabled Max and his new friend Freak, whose birth defect has affected his body but not his brilliant mind, find that when they combine forces they make a powerful team. An established writer of adult suspense makes a stunning entry into children's literature with this extraordinary novel about two boys--a slow learner too large for his age, and a tiny, crippled genius--who pair up to create on formidable human force.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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