Release date: UK 2004
Target audience: 9+
UK Publisher: Usborne
Freak the Mighty is an endearing story of loyalty and courage.
It is the story of Maxwell and Kevin: two boys who are larger than life. Maxwell is growing into a big lad. He is much taller than the other kids in his class. People call him retarded and they are all waiting for him to “go bad” because the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. In kindergarten he was known as Kicker. But now he’s in the eighth grade and he’s shut out the event that traumatised his childhood.
Kevin is small for his age. He has a disease which means he’s stopped growing on the outside but not on the inside. Kevin is a genius. He has a vocabulary far more advanced than his age and he loves looking up new words in his trusty dictionary.
Maxwell and Kevin become great friends and together unleash their imaginative powers to become Freak the Mighty.
I read this book in a single sitting. It is short and has a wonderfully direct narrative voice which speaks to the reader. Maxwell tells the story of Freak the Mighty. We learn how he and Kevin become friends and their bond is heart-warming. Philbrick’s characterisation was excellent – Kevin’s dialogue had me laughing out loud – I was utterly involved in the characters’ stories and really felt the emotions of every step of their adventure.
Freak the Mighty is touched with tragedy and heartbreaking sorrow that is a part of life. It brought me to tears but it also celebrated how important a true friendship can be to transform a person beyond their fears. A wonderful and moving story.
Source: Borrowed from the school library