Freak the Mighty Chapter 23 Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

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

'The Empty Book' is the title of the 23rd chapter in the Rodman Philbrick novel, ''Freak the Mighty''. Kevin has just been taken to the hospital by ambulance after having a seizure during his thirteenth birthday party. Will a body transplant save him?

Rushed to the Hospital

At the beginning of chapter 23 in the Rodman Philbrick novel, Freak the Mighty, Kevin is in the hospital. He was rushed there by ambulance following a seizure at his 13th birthday party, which is coincidentally also the first birthday of Freak the Mighty.

Max Has to Wait

Max is not allowed to visit Kevin the first day of his hospital stay, but Max is too antsy to sit still. He walks several miles to the hospital, noticing how different it feels to walking without Kevin. Max misses the swimming pools turning into moats while the houses become castles.

When he arrives, Max sees that Gwen's car is there, but not wanting to disturb her, he sits under a tree near the medical research building. Flying the ornithopter kills time until a mower makes him move. Max stumbles across a tear-streaked Gwen as he walks around to the front of the hospital. Kevin wants to see Max; Gwen tells him they have gotten permission to let him in for a few minutes.

Kevin in the ICU

Kevin looks so small in the ICU bed, with all of the tubes coming in and out of him. Dr. Spivak explains that she does not feel like Kevin is up to visitors yet, 'but what Kevin wants, Kevin gets.' 'That will be all,' Freak says to her. 'You are dismissed.'

Freak has gotten a tracheotomy that makes his voice sound funny. A tracheotomy is a medical procedure where a surgical cut is made to the trachea, or windpipe, that allows a person to breathe despite a blockage. Freak tries to use his finger at his throat to whistle the Star Trek theme, but it is hardly recognizable.

Kevin explains that he will not be coming home in his current manifestation, or state of being. Kevin claims that his 'new and improved' bionic body will be ready tonight. Max is upset, but Kevin tells him that he will be in big trouble if he argues because the nurses will see it on the telemetry, or automatic recording and transmission of data.

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