Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.
It is Friday the 13th. Max never dreamed it could be this bad. In Chapter 13 of Rodman Philbrick's novel Freak the Mighty, we will find out why the principal needs to see Max privately. What else could possibly happen on this day?
Freak and Max are a unit. Kevin, Freak's real name, answers all of Mrs. Donelli's questions in class, so why does she want Max to answer them? Max knows the answers because Kevin has been teaching him how to read and, for some reason, it makes sense when Kevin tells him how to do it. Max just does not want to answer in class. Max's reading tutor, Mr. Meehan, tells Max that he never had a learning disability and has always been capable; he was just unmotivated. Mrs. Donelli does not understand why being shy about speaking in class keeps Max from writing down the answers. She does not understand that his hands feel too big and awkward to grasp the pencil. Mr. Meehan is able to convince her to start asking questions privately during study hall instead of in front of the class.
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Friday the Thirteenth
On Friday the 13th, Max gets a note to go to the principal's office. Kevin and Max start to go together, but the teacher stops Kevin and says that Max is supposed to go alone. Max's first thought is that he is being sent back to special classes. No way is he going back! But when he sees the principal's face, he's afraid Gram has died or something. The principal tries to reassure him as she tells him that it's about his father. The parole board has contacted her. That is as far as she gets.
Max starts screaming and covering his ears. Somehow, he ends up balled up in a corner of the office. The nurse is there trying to help, and she is crying. This really scares Max because he thinks he must have hit her and not remembered. The principal reassures him that she would make sure the parole board and the attorney are aware that Max does not want to be involved with his father.
It is American Chop Suey Day in the school cafeteria! Kevin's favorite! American chop suey is a dish made with elbow macaroni, ground beef, and tomato sauce. Max has no clue how Kevin eats this much, but Max refills his plate when Kevin asks for more. Something is wrong. Kevin stops breathing and his face is turning purple. The nurse is able to turn his face from purple to pink after sticking a plastic thing down his throat, but he has to go by ambulance to the hospital to be checked, and they will not let Max ride with him.
In the beginning of Chapter 13 of Rodman Philbrick's novel, Freak the Mighty, Max is confused as to why Mrs. Donelli wants him to answer questions in class when Kevin can answer them for him. Thanks to Kevin, Max is starting to learn to read! When Max gets called to the principal's office, he is scared that they will separate him from Kevin and put him back into an L.D. class, but the news the principal has for him is that the school has been contacted by the parole board about Max's father. At the mere mention of his father, Max falls apart and cannot remember anything that he does. Later that day in the cafeteria, Kevin chokes on his meal of American chop suey (a dish of macaroni, tomato sauce, and beef) and has to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Why won't they let Max go with him?
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Freak the Mighty Chapter 13 Summary
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