Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reflections: Freak the Mighty

Brad Howes shares his thoughts on Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty:

"Freak the Mighty is a feel-good story of a unique 'opposites-attract' friendship. Max and Kevin are on different ends of the intellectual and physical spectrum. Kevin, the Freak, is a small-statured, big-word-using genius. But he suffers from a disease that causes his 'insides' to grow, but not his 'outsides.' Max the Mighty, on the other hand, is a giant. In fact, his shoe size, fourteen, exceeds his age, thirteen—and he is L.D. (as he calls it). L.D. stands for learning disabled. Neither of the boys fits in, but they fit together. The two spend their days on 'quests' seeking 'damsels in distress,' an idea Kevin got from his love for reading. In fact, Kevin's imagination is the thing that seems to keeps each boy's troubled past from ruining their time together.  'Freak the Mighty,' which is what the boys call themselves as a pair, is a genuine companionship, full of vulnerability. Max carries Kevin around on his shoulders everywhere they go. They stick together.

Overall, the book is great. I found myself smiling at several points while reading. Charming is a good word to describe it. It made me feel like I need to lighten up—and that is why I read. But perhaps the best thing about the book is that Freak the Mighty is full of fun moments and scary moments, moments that make you laugh and moments that make you cry. Rodman Philbrick balances these moments wonderfully throughout the book."

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