Freak the Mighty Chapter 6 Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

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

In the sixth chapter of 'Freak the Mighty' by Rodman Philbrick, the boys have 'Close Encounters of the Turd Kind' when they are allowed to go the fireworks display without adult supervision for the very first time. Will they stay out of trouble?


It is the Fourth of July! The time of year when regular rules do not apply. Kevin and Max are allowed to go to the local fireworks show by the pond together so that Max can keep Kevin safe, but who will protect whom?

Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick
book cover

The Protector

This is the holiday where dads get drunk and moms worry about their kids losing digits. Grim and Gram have never let Max go see the fireworks on his own, but this year, they are letting him go with Kevin. It is supposed to be Max's job to protect Kevin, which Max thinks is stupid because Kevin can take care of himself.

Tony D.

They're almost there when some drunk idiots start yelling, 'Hey you! Mutt and Jeff! Frankenstein and Igor! Don't look around, I'm talkin' to you, boneheads. What is this, a freak show?' Max recognizes Tony D. Tony has a rap sheet and is dangerous enough that most people try to avoid him if they can. While hurling a few more insults in their direction, Tony stops Max and Kevin to ask them if they have any M80s. Kevin takes the lead and tells Max to follow him away from the 'cretin'. Kevin explains that a cretin is defined as 'one who suffers from mental deficiency.' Max laughs and just as Tony D. looks up at him incredulously, a police car pulls up, which chases Tony D. and his gang away.

Little Body, Big Mouth

Freak is stunned when he realizes that he mouthed off to Tony D. and that most likely Max could not have won a fight with Blade's (Tony D.) whole gang. Freak is walking on his leg braces, without crutches, so when he started laughing, he falls to the ground. When Max helps him up, he is surprised by how light Kevin is. Later, when the fireworks go off and Kevin is struggling to see, Max lifts him up onto his shoulders. With each explosion, Kevin calls out the names of the chemicals and elements that are causing each of the different types of fireworks. Max is sure that Kevin is 'possibly the smartest human being in the whole world.'

Kevin can identify every chemical used for the different types of fireworks.

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