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Freak the Mighty

by Rodman Philbrick  |  Grades: 4-8  |  Ages: 9-12  |  Lexile Level: 930 

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick Teacher Guide, Lesson Plans, Novel UnitAbout Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

This simple yet timeless story explores many themes, including bullying -- an important topic in today's schools. 

It has been over twenty years -- and more than two million copies, eight foreign editions, and a popular Miramax feature film -- since the world was introduced to this powerful story of a unique friendship between a troubled, over-sized boy and the tiny, physically challenged genius who proves that courage comes in all sizes. 

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.

Two boys--a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces--forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force.

"I never had a brain until Freak came along. . . ".

That's what Max thought. All his life he'd been called stupid. Dumb. Slow. It didn't help that his body seemed to be growing faster than his mind. It didn't help that people were afraid of him. So Max learned how to be alone At least until Freak came along.

Freak was weird, too. He had a little body -- and a really big brain. Together Max and Freak were unstoppable. Together, they were Freak the Mighty. 


"Max's description of their friendship . . . is gritty, unsentimental, sparked with Freak's wry verbal wit and Max's earthier humor, and ultimately poignant. Easily read but compelling: an intriguing and unusual story."-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review 


A School Library Journal Best Book for Young Adults
A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
A YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
An IRA Young Adults' Choices Book

A Biographical Note About Rodman Philbrick

Rodman Philbrick (1951 -   ). Before Philbrick began writing full-time, he worked as a longshoreman and boat builder. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg was chosen as a Newbery Honor Book, and his novel Zane and the Hurricane has received numerous starred reviews and was honored on the 2015-2016 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List. His first book for young readers, Freak the Mighty, was an immediate bestseller and continues to be a classic, with close to three million copies in print. Philbrick divides his time between Maine and Florida.  Visit him at

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, and Activities for Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick: