I’d like to share an exciting and emotional book about friendship and I just finished. “Freak the Mighty” by, Rodman Philbrick, it’s a realistic fiction novel that is 169 pages long. Philbrick wrote several adult mystery and suspense thrillers before writing “Freak the Mighty”. Over the summer, my tutor gave me options of books to choose to read over the summer and “Freak the Mighty” caught my eye. This book is about two boys who struggle with physical and academic difficulties who come together and become unlikely friends.
In the book, Max and Kevin are the two main characters. Max struggles with dyslexia and Kevin has Morquio Syndrome, a disease that limits his growth. Max and Kevin both stand out because of their challenges and physical appearances, Max looks like a grown man and Kevin looks like a young child, even though they are both in middle school. Without question, both of them want to appear normal and overcome their differences. However, neither one of them can defeat their challenges by themselves. So, they develope a friendship bigger than the both of them creating hope, determination, adventures which becomes Freak the Mighty.
The character development between Max and Kevin is the highlight of this book and in my opinion without their strong relationship the book would be boring. Philbrick shaped each character thoughtfully so that every character showed exposure of their struggles. Because the story is told from Max’s point of view, we feel like Kevin is our friend, too. The reader gets invested in these characters. We are drawn to their humor, sense of adventure and creativity, and wish we had a similar bond with a friend.
I didn’t understand why Philbrick was so vague with the father character at onset of the book and then so abruptly bought him into the climax. The author didn’t bring up the father until the third chapter and then didn’t explain the severity of why he was in jail and how important an impact it had on how people saw Max. It also made you question what happened to the mother. It was frustrating not to truly understand what the roles of the parents were even though it was obvious that they played a big role.
I like how the author created ups and downs of suspense during the book every few chapters there’s either a thriller adventure with Max and Kevin or a moment of suspense where you think one of the characters might be in trouble. During the book you always had a sense that something bad might happen to Kevin healthwise. But, every time he and Max were either talking or going on an adventure he always seemed to have a positive attitude and adventurous spirit that kept you hopefully.
After Max and Kevin both get kidnapped by max’s dad they go to the hospital to check on their conditions. Max notices that Kevin is getting far more attention than him. When Max and Kevin are done, Kevin starts to explain why he got so much more attention. “ ‘Dr. Spivak says my unique status as a marvel of genetic aberration makes me an object of intense curiosity’ he says in that lofty way of his. ‘Specialist from the world over are familiar with my case’ ” (P:137). I enjoyed reading this passage because I don’t know a lot about Morquio Syndrome and how severe Kevin’s case is. So, when he says “Specialist from the world over are familiar with my case” (P:137), it really explains how severe his condition is and why Kevin’s mom is always so worried about him.
In my perspective I would rate this book a seven out of ten, I rated it this because it always kept you on your seat which I liked but it didn’t deserve a ten out of ten because there were a few questions that were inadequately answered.
1 thought on “B.J.’s Letter Essay #3: Freak the Mighty”
Great letter-essay, B.J. I love that book.