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WAB Learns

G06: L&L Fitting In: Freak the Mighty

Literature expresses the challenges of growing up

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Why read Freak the Mighty?

Two boys – one with some academic learning stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein with a physical challenge in leg braces – forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force. This was a very touching story of two friends, Max and Freak who team up to become the 'fearless'duo Freak the Mighty. The book is a hard one to read as Max's mother has been killed by his father who is serving time and the book is about how Max tries to break away from the connection with his dad, hard to when people keep telling him he is the spitting image of his father. For all intents and purposes an orphan, living with his grandparents and being bullied at school Max does not have much joy in life, until he meets a friend from KG, Kevin, known as 'Freak' for his small size due to a chronic illness. 'Freak''s friendship and emotional support help Max to stand on his own two feet and in turn physically support his friend. The book is about how they save each other. (Made into the film, The Mighty.)

Book Discussion Ideas

  1. Why is Max convinced he does not have a brain? Is his assessment of himself as a "butthead" correct? Do our opinions of ourselves affect what others think of us? Do others' opinions of us affect how we feel about ourselves?
  2. How does Kevin prove to Max he is not a "butthead"? How does Kevin help Max learn how to read and write?
  3. Why is Freak's Christmas gift of the pyramid-shaped box and handwritten dictionary so important to Max?
  4. Why does Max call the first chapter of his book, "The Unvanquished Truth"?
  5. Why do we care about what happens to max and Kevin? How does the author make us care about them?
  6. How does the location of Max's room "down under" relate to how he feels about himself?
  7. How does Freak get Max out of his room? What is "magic" about their quests?
  8. Does Freak really believe that he will be "the first bionically improved human" by having a body transplant? What does Freak mean when he says "you can remember anything, whether it happened or not?"
  9. Why does Max agree with his father, who says, "I, Kenneth David Kane, do swear by all that's Holy that I did not murder this boy's mother"? What does the story Kenny recounts about the "injustice" that was done to him, tell us about him?
  10. How are Kevin and Kenny similar in how they deal with the world? How are they different?
  11. What is the irony in calling the tenements the New Testaments? What is ironic bout Killer Kane posing as the Reverend Kenneth David Kane? Why is Kenny's remark that you should never trust a cripple ironic?
  12. Why does Loretta try to save Max? What does this tell us about her? Why is Max not surprised when he sees her drunk at the end of the novel? How does she finally save Max?
  13. Why is the scene with Kevin and the squirt gun funny? Does Kevin recognize the humor? Does Max?
  14. With whom is Max angry when he realizes that Kevin is dead? Why? What helps him get over his anger?