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Freak the Mighty Chapter 20 Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

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

'Freak the Mighty Strikes Again' is the twentieth chapter of the Rodman Philbrick novel Freak the Mighty. Killer Kane is trying to choke Loretta right before Max's eyes. Will Max be able to stop him?

Max Experiences Déjà Vu

At this point in the story, Max and his dad are in the basement of an abandoned building. His dad has kidnapped him and tied in the basement until Loretta came to try to free Max. In the twentieth chapter in Rodman Philbrick's novel, Freak the Mighty, Max witnesses his father trying to kill Loretta for trying to help him escape. The sense of déjà vu nearly knocks Max off of his feet.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
Book Cover

Max Remembers His Mother's Murder

Max's initial helplessness is overtaken by his conviction that even though he is not sure if he can stop Killer Kane, he has to try. Max hurdles his body on top of Kenny, and with all his strength, he fights to push Killer Kane away from Loretta.

Suddenly, the memories come flooding back. Everything that Max has tried so hard to forget for all of these years surfaces in that moment. Max cries out, 'I know you killed her! I saw you! I saw you do it! You killed her and I'll never forget, not ever!'

Max remembers every detail. Kenny was wearing brown corduroy trousers and a black T-shirt without the sleeves. Kenny carried four-year old Max back to his room while convincing him it was just a dream. Max saw Killer Kane choking his mother, just like he is choking Loretta!

Kenny Tries to Silence Max

Kenny hugs Max tight and attempts to persuade him of his faulty memory, the product of Max's grandparents' attempt to brainwash him. But Grim and Gram have never talked about it…. Max remembers everything, including how he broke the window with his hand and yelled for help.

That's when Kenny panics. It was Max's fault Kenny got locked up! If Max had not screamed, Kenny never would have been caught. In an effort to clean up this mess, Kenny wraps his hands around Max's throat and squeezes until Max begins to lose consciousness.

Freak the Mighty Strikes Again

As Max begins to fade, he thinks he hears Kevin's voice. Is it just his imagination? No! Kevin is here with a squirt gun! Killer Kane laughs at the gun in Kevin's hand until Kevin announces that it is filled with sulphuric acid (a heavy oil-based corrosive) made from his new chemistry set. Kevin sprays Kane right in the eyes! While Kane is screaming and rubbing his burning eyes, Max grabs Kevin and makes a run for it. Kevin had used soap, vinegar, and curry powder in the water gun to burn Kenny's eyes and make him think it was sulphuric acid.

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