Freak the Mighty
by Rodman Philbrick
Some of you may already be familiar with this story, which was made into a movie called The Mighty
a few years ago, starring Eldon Henson, Macaulay Culkin's brother Kieran and Sharon Stone. I think Gillian Anderson of X-Files
fame was in it, too.[Editor's note: Yes, she's in it, as well as Meat Loaf, of all people. -Nancy]
It's a very moving story about a year-long friendship between a big, stupid, overgrown ox of a boy and a mentally gifted neighbor the same age (eighth grade) whose insides are growing while his outsides aren't (the same deal that Tattoo on Fantasy Island
had, which I understand is very painful and eventually fatal).
The two boys form a friendship so close, it is more like a symbiotic relationship, like they become one person--brains and brawn--as the big kid carries the little one around on his shoulders and they fantasize about fighting dragons and rescuing damsels in distress. Unfortunately, their own distress is the real problem. "Freak" (the brainy one) has serious health problems, and his Mighty friend Max (the brawny one) is being raised by his grandparents while his father, who is in jail for murdering his mother when he was a little boy, is coming up for parole.
It is a magnificent story about a life-changing friendship and boys overcoming their limitations. Caution: if you have even half a heart, you cannot finish this book without using Kleenex.
Recommended Age: 12+
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