At the beginning of the chapter, Max receives accolades from his reading tutor and his teacher, who finally begin to recognize that Max is capable of understanding the material in class; he is just shy in front of other students. Max gives the credit to Kevin for helping him. When he is called to the principal's office, Max goes "nuts" when Mrs. Addison attempts to relay some information about his father's parole hearing. Max "blanked out or something," and he finds himself huddled in a corner, while Mrs. Addison is crying. Max is more upset about what he may have done to the principal than the news about his father. He worries that he may have harmed her, though the principal assures him that "I cry easy, don't you worry about it."
I do worry about it, though, because if she's crying, I must have hit her and I don't remember it.
Later, in the lunchroom, Max enjoys watching Kevin eat his favorite food--American chop suey. But when Kevin begins choking on it, Max calls a nurse and then begins "hopping up and down in one place," at the same time keeping the curious children away from crowding Kevin. Max is only thinking of Kevin and not himself. When the color comes back into Kevin's face, Max tries repeatedly to get into the ambulance that takes him to the hospital. When the principal tries to calm Max with "You've had quite a day, haven't you?", Max replies,
"It's not me who had quite a day," I say. "Kevin is the one. All he did was try and eat his lunch."
Mrs. Addison gives me this look, and then she goes, "You're going to be okay now, Maxwell Kane. I'm sure of it now."