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  • 0:04 The Beginnings of Friendship
  • 0:47 Kicker and Robot Man
  • 1:39 Mad Max
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

The 'Unvanquished Truth' is the first chapter in the Rodman Philbrick novel, ''Freak the Mighty.'' In this chapter, we learn about the history of Max and Kevin from daycare to the summer before the eighth grade.

The Beginnings of Friendship

In the first chapter of the Rodman Philbrick novel, Freak the Mighty, Max and Kevin (Freak) seemingly have very little in common. While Max rarely uses his brain, Kevin possesses an extraordinary vocabulary. He uses words like unvanquished, which means undefeated. Kevin is small and crippled; Max is large and strong. Kevin lives with his beautiful mother; Max is raised by his grandparents, who seem to fear him.

However, both boys have an intense anger and frustration over the hand that life has dealt them. In this lesson, we will learn about their encounters in daycare, third grade, and the summer before eighth grade that eventually led to them becoming 'Freak the Mighty.'

Kicker and Robot Man

Everyone at daycare calls Max 'Kicker' because of his violent temper. He thrashes out at anyone who tries to touch him. Grim and Gram, his mother's parents that are raising him, hug all over Max, but he knows that the hugs are just lies. Inventing games that involve kicking people, like his teachers and the other kids in his class, is Max's favorite thing to do.

Kicker never kicks Freak (Kevin) though, because he admires his crutches and wishes he had a pair of his own. Kicker is even more jealous when Freak gets leg braces and looks like 'Robot Man.'

Freak is barely two feet tall, but he knows he wants to be a robot and acts out the part with a fierce look in his eyes that warns the others they better not mess with him. Freak has since taught Max that 'remembering is a great invention of the mind, and if you try hard enough you can remember anything, whether it really happened or not.'

Mad Max

One day, Freak disappears from daycare, and Kicker forgets all about him until the one time they see each other in the third grade. Freak has an annoyed expression on his face while riding a bus for the handicapped. By the time they reach the third grade, things have changed.

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