What Is the Theme of “Freak the Mighty”?

The theme of Rodman Philbrick’s young-adult novel “Freak the Mighty” is the power of friendship and its ability to triumph over adversity. Max tells the “unvanquished truth” of his friendship with Kevin to help make clear how it forever changes him.

Max, a very large boy with a learning disability, and Frank, a very smart,severely handicapped boy, develop a friendship after they find themselves bullied. Only then do they realize that their strength together makes them stronger than their individual selves and that their disabilities do not define them. After someone kidnaps Max, Kevin risks his life to save his friend. Max cannot step in and help Frank after he suffers a seizure.

“Freak the Mighty,” a Judy Lopez Honor Book, also holds recognition as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers. It received several awards, including the California Young Readers Medal, the New York “Charlotte’s Web” Award and the Arizona Young Readers Medal.