Freak the Mighty
by Rodman Philbrick. Novel. 169 pages. Grades 4-9.
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The title character is made up of two children—both society outcasts—who learn to function as one entity. The brain is Kevin, a brilliant child whose misshapen body and stunted growth makes getting around difficult. The body of Freak the Mighty is Max Kane a huge boy with learning disabilities and the conviction, shared by many, that he is a stupid boy with violent tendencies. He carries Kevin about on his shoulders and at first Kevin does all the thinking.
Soon, however, Max finds out that he's not so stupid. Kevin demands that Max be placed in the regular classroom with him rather than in the special ed class where he has languished all this time. The whole story takes place in one year during which time Max learns to read and write and value himself. The boys have a rich fantasy life based on the Arthurian legends. Max's father who murdered his mother attempts to kidnap Max only to be thwarted by Kevin and others and Max's heart grows too big for his body.