In Freak the Mighty chapter 8, what happens to Max for the first time?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 8 of Freak the Mighty, the police take Max and Kevin home after their escape from Tony and his gang of thugs. The police immediately hail Max as the hero even though their escape has more to do with the unified character of “Freak the Mighty.” The police laud Max alone because “for rescuing the poor crippled midget kid.” According to the police, Max is the hero. This heroic act surprises the police a bit because they recognize Max as Kenny “Killer” Kane’s son. The police remark, in turn, surprises Max because he thinks of Kevin as the hero. The escape was a combination of Kevin’s “genius brain and [Max’s] big dumb body.”

Despite Max’s reaction, Grim and Gram have definite feelings as well. They are shocked and happy when they hear Max being hailed as a hero by the police. Gram worries a lot and provides the usual warnings to Max not to mix with Tony and his gang any further. In the meantime, although Grim agrees, he calls Max “son” for the first time in Max’s life. This is evidence of Grim’s pride of Max and begins Max's recovery of self-esteem.

In conclusion, one could say that two important things happen to Max for the first time in chapter 8:  Max is hailed as a hero (by the police, no less), and Max is called "son" by Grim and Gram.