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Freak The Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
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Freak The Mighty (original 1993; edition 2001)

by Rodman Philbrick

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2,3491222,677 (3.96)56
Member:brandy124
Title:Freak The Mighty
Authors:Rodman Philbrick
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2001), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:realistic fiction

Work details

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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Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
I liked this book for two main reasons. I liked the character development. Throughout the story, Max is not fond of his intelligence or lack thereof, but having Freak as a friend he begins to do more than he ever thought he could. After they spend the summer together, they go back to school and he does better in school than he had in the past. Max is treated better by his grandparents because of his friendship with Freak and other students don't pick on him as much. I also really liked the ending of Freak the Mighty, even though it was sad. Freak made a fake reality for himself and for everyone around him, but Max believed it. At the end of the story, Freak died from a disease he always knew he would die from, but in a way, it helped Max to get over what had happened and to learn from it. ( )
  AlexisBadovski | Apr 17, 2017 |
This was a fantastic book. The language was very easy to read and follow along with. I really enjoyed the fact that the story was actually "written" by Max about the events that had transpired throughout the past year of his life. The language that the story is being written with really makes the reader become engaged with the story, transporting them with Max. One example of this is on page 101 right after Max's dad gets out of prison and comes to kidnap him: "I'm so weak, I can hardly put my shoes on. Like when you wake up and your arm is still asleep and you can't hardly make it move? That's what I feel like all over- numb and prickly and light as a balloon. Like my hands might float up in the air if I let them." The passage makes you feel the same emotions that are going through Max- we are scared for him, palms sweaty and hard of breath. Besides the language, I really enjoyed the way the plot was very well organized. The events in the book were very realistic, which made them more relatable. Even though it was very sad, it was realistic for Kevin to pass due to his condition. While it was scary that Max was kidnapped by his father, it made sense to the story line and it was an event that was important to further the plot along. The organization of the story line was very clear and moved along in a way that made it easy to read. The message at the end of this story ended up being that sometimes people come into our lives and change it and then they leave, but rather than mourn the loss we should be thankful for our time with them and honor their memory. ( )
  LauraGraziano | Apr 3, 2017 |
I liked this book for two reasons. One reason is that I like the characters. All of the characters have unique qualities about them that can be relatable to anyone, especially Max’s character. For example, in chapter 13, when Max talks to Mrs. Addison when Kevin is being sent to the hospital, he says, “It’s not me who had quite a day, Kevin is the one. All he did was try and eat his lunch”. This quote showed that Max really cared for Kevin more than he cared for what he was going through earlier that day. To be able to care for others before themselves is one aspect of empathy and a characteristic of friendship. Another reason I like this book is because of the central theme of the story. The theme of the story is that you can do anything and be who you want to be if you believe. In chapter 25, when Max saw Lorretta again, she told him, “Nothing is a drag kid. Think about it”. This quote is the pivotal message that life is not worth living unless you find a purpose to do something with it. Max went from acting dumb and doing nothing to helping others find lost belongings, going on quests, and hanging out with a friend. If you do nothing, you will get nothing out of life. ( )
  ShelbyPlitt | Apr 3, 2017 |
While reading this story, I was struck by its powerful message and the incredible use of point of view to connect with the reader. This tale focuses on the personal changes seen in one of the title characters: Maxwell, also known as Mad Max and ‘The Mighty’. The story is narrated by Max, and written in Max’s vernacular. The author wrote at Max’s educational level- that of an eighth grade boy, and used many terms unique to Max like ‘the underground’ for his bedroom and “The Fair Gwen” for the name of a neighbor. This was a powerful choice on the authors part, it allowed the reader to quickly connect with the main character because they felt like they were truly in his head.
Throughout this course, I have come to appreciate the importance of reading books with difficult or complicated endings. The ending of this story was not an easy one to swallow: the death of Max’s best friend was a surprise to Max, and because he was the narrator it was a surprise to the reader as well. At first, I was frustrated with the death because I chalked it up to a writers’ choice to add shock value to the tale. However, as I continued reading I was struck by how the death affected Max. He acknowledged the pain of the death, and then worked to continue his path of educational and affective growth despite the loss of his friend. For example he decided to write a novel when previously he had only expressed frustration with his perceived inability to write. This perseverance was a strong lesson for readers, one that I appreciated after finishing the book.
The message of this story is: little changes occur every day and add up to create large growth. ( )
  elaine.shea | Apr 3, 2017 |
This novel was an engaging read from beginning to end. I absolutely loved the story crafted by Philbrick to explore the friendship between to characters that felt as though they were on the “outside”. I found it interesting that the author chose such dynamic social issues to explore in this novel, like incarcerated parents and death, but it ended up working out in their favor because it was written in such a way that you could almost feel as though you were the age of Max and saw things from a younger perspective.
One of the main reasons that I loved this book was because of the way that Max actually thought about his friend Kevin. Although Kevin had visible differences from other students his age, Max did not see him as any thing besides his “genius” friend. In one particular instance in the novel, Max’s grandfather says “poor Kevin”. Max, without missing a beat, replied, basically, that there was no “poor” about Kevin. He was extremely smart and talented. I found this development of Max’s character to be insightful into the nature of his character, rather than just focusing on his outer appearance. Secondly, I really enjoyed how the book ended. Although Kevin had passed, Max had been changed for the better. After opening up to Kevin, it seemed as if the world had opened up to him. We eventually found out that Max had “written” this story in the journal that Kevin gave him; “And now that I have written a book who knows, I might even read a few. No big deal,” (p. 160). From starting off Max’s character as being described as someone intimidating and “dumb” to having him go through al of these trials and writing his story down, I was simply amazed.
The main message that I gathered from this story was that you can not judge a book by its cover. Although Max was enormous in size and appeared “slow”, he really was a character that had many layers to him. People in the story judged him by what they knew of his past and how he looked, when in all actuality, it only took one friend to help others understand that there was much more that needed to be said about Max. Because of the friendship between Kevin and Max, I think that all of the people in that town became less judgmental and more understanding. ( )
  CourtneyClutts | Mar 31, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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)

» see all 6 descriptions

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