Yesterday I finished reading (listening to) Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. This is a book that I saw sitting on a colleagues desk. (I love stealth book recommendations, by which I mean this: I see or hear someone talking about a book and then I read it, regardless of whether or not they were actually recommending it) Less than a week later I saw it at the library. I think it was fate, or maybe just coincidence, either way it was a great book.
Maxwell Cain is large and dumb, or he thinks he is dumb because that is what everyone has told him for his entire life. Thus far in his life, Max has lived with few friends and even less excitement. Then Kevin, Freak, moves in down the block. Kevin is the opposite of Max: small, really small, and smart, really smart. Kevin and Max quickly become friends, helping to make up for each others deficits, and eventually become Freak the Mighty. Together the two boys go on quests that remind the reader what it was like to be young and imaginative.
(This is technically a young adult book, so the intended reader would not need to be reminded what it is like to be young and imaginative. However, I strongly recommend this book to all aged readers.)
About half way through the book I had a sinking feeling about what was going to happen at the end (I won’t give it away here), and I was right. It was the end of the book that found me crying in my car yesterday morning.
Finishing Freak the Mighty reminded me of finishing The Bridge to Terabithia for the first time. I was so moved by the friendships that are created in both stories, that I couldn’t help but to personalize them.
You should read Freak the Mighty. It is short and it won’t take you a long time and you will like it.