Freak the Mighty

Freak the Mighty

Audiobook CD - 1998
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At the beginning of eighth grade, learning disabled Max and his new friend Freak, whose birth defect has affected his body but not his brilliant mind, find that when they combine forces they make a powerful team. An established writer of adult suspense makes a stunning entry into children's literature with this extraordinary novel about two boys--a slow learner too large for his age, and a tiny, crippled genius--who pair up to create one formidable human force.
Publisher: New York : Random House Audio Publishing : Listening Library, p1998
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780307245656
Branch Call Number: TEEN F PHI
Characteristics: 3 sound discs (3 hr., 23 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Henson, Elden


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Jul 13, 2018

Freak the Mighty, narrated by Elden Henson (who does an excellent job), was a great find. Maybe a little too sad for what I was looking for, but it's intelligence and humor made up for its tragedy. And in a way, I think that was perhaps Philbrick's point. That is, not to "make up" for tragedy, but to present a story in which a character ultimately focuses on what was and is good, alive, funny, meaningful. It's a story about setting our eyes on love instead of loss. "Freak", interestingly, is not our protagonist. Max is. Maxwell Kane. Max is the ever-growing middle school kid who, though quiet in the classroom, is very alive in his head. It was the only time I disbelieved him as a narrator, when he professed to not being very smart. Max's mental voice is so whipsmart I was like, "Yeah right, Max". "Freak" is Max's friend, a dictionary-toting, space-loving, living-life kid whose internal organs happen to be outgrowing his body (which stopped growing very much when he was very young as the result of a congenital birth defect). My favorite entry in Freak's dictionary? "Book: a four letter word for truth serum." Stay tuned to the end of the book to hear the others.


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