Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freak the Mighty (copy)

Have you ever read a book that makes you pump your fists in the air in triumph? I finished Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick last night and although sad at the end there is still this feeling of unmistakable victory.

Max is our narrator and he begins telling his story by relating the first time he met Kevin aka Freak. Max had a nickname of his own, too. He was known in preschool as Kicker. Apparently, he lashed out at anyone who got near. Day care workers, mommies, and even children covered their shins when passing Max.

When Kevin came to preschool that first day he was not quite known as Freak, yet. He was the same size as all the other students back then and his crutches were so tiny they were hardly noticeable. Um, that was before he started hitting other people with them. Day care workers, mommies, and even children began to cover their shins when Kevin passed by.

The two bonded over the similarity noting that neither one ever kicked or whacked the other during the first week together. It was a nice week for both the boys, but then Kevin did not return the next week or the following week or until some years later.

It was the first day of seventh grade when Max, towering over his classmates, saw Kevin at the entrance. Then he lost him in the sea of middle school heads. Before long Max could hear the yelps getting closer as Kevin made his way down the busy hall by whacking those close enough to step on him.

Their differences were undeniable. Max had grown two feet taller than his peers while Kevin was only a slight taller than his preschool days. Max hardly ever spoke while Kevin was want for breath between sentences. Max was assigned the learning disabled classes while Kevin would enter the advance placement classes.

Max begins the book, “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. The unvanquished truth, is how Freak would say it, and for a long time it was him who did all the talking. Except I had a way of saying things with my fists and my feet even before we became Freak the Mighty, slaying dragons and fools and walking high above the world.”

Trust me. You will raise your fists in solidarity!

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