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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