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Tony D. in Freak the Mighty

Instructor: Kerry Gray

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

The first conflict Kevin and Max encounter is with Tony D., who is also known as Blade. In this lesson, we will learn more about Tony D. from the Rodman Philbrick novel, 'Freak the Mighty.'

Blade's Gang

In the Rodman Philbrick novel, Freak the Mighty, Kevin and Max's first major conflict is with Tony D., also known as Blade, and his gang. In this lesson, we will learn more about Tony D.

Fireworks
fireworks

Bullying the Disabled

The reader first learns about Tony D. in chapter six when Kevin and Max go to the fireworks show on the Fourth of July. A drunk and obnoxious Tony D. approaches them 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?' As Tony D. catches up with them, he asks if they have any M80s (powerful fireworks). Most people in town tend to avoid Tony D., even though he is only 17, because he is bad news and already has a rap sheet, but tonight, Tony D. is not giving Kevin and Max much of a choice. Why do you think Tony D. picked Kevin and Max to bother? And what does that say about Tony?

Knives and Rocks

The lovable, but mouthy, Kevin responds by calling Tony D. a 'cretin.' Kevin further explains that a cretin is 'one who suffers from mental deficiency.' Stunned that this little guy would say something like this when most of the community is afraid of him, Tony D. hesitates in deciding how to handle this situation long enough that the police drive by. During the fireworks, Kevin is having a hard time seeing anything, so Max, realizing how light Kevin is, puts him on his shoulders. After the fireworks show, Tony D. has had time to come to his senses and is ready to hunt them down. 'You! The freak! You and that giant retard, I'll cut you down to size. Dice and slice, baby! Freak show time!' yells Tony D. with a knife in his hand. Tony chases them (Kevin still on Max's shoulders) into the millpond where he gets stuck and has to get help from his gang to get out. Tony D. continues to throw rocks at Kevin and Max until police arrive and offer assistance. This incident is what prompts Kevin to start calling this dynamic duo 'Freak the Mighty.' It also serves as a point of healing between Max and his grandparents as they begin to see Max, the hero, through new eyes.

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