In Freak the Mighty, what was Max's nickname in daycare? Give an example from the book that shows why he was called that.

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lordcou eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first chapter of Freak the Mighty, we learn that over time, Max has earned several nicknames from others and he has even given himself some nicknames.

On page 1, Max says, "Called me Kicker for a time - this was day care, the year Gram and Grim took me over - and I had a thing about booting anyone who dared to touch me. Because they were always trying to throw a hug on me, like it was a medicine I needed."

In other words, Max is saying that the other kids in day care would call him "Kicker" since he had a habit of kicking anyone who would attempt to touch him, which, according to Max, happened quite often. 

Max says, "I invented games like kick-boxing and kick-knees and kick-faces, and kick-teachers, and kick-the-other-little-day-care-critters, because I knew what a rotten lie that hug stuff was. Oh, I knew." 

This shows that Max was mostly upset for the unsolicited hugs and affection because he thought that were out of pity (at this point in the novel, we don't exactly know what for, but we eventually learn that people may have felt sorry for Max due to his mother's death and father's imprisonment). 

As mentioned, Max not only earns nicknames, but he also gives himself harsh nicknames. For example, in that very same chapter, he calls himself a "butthead," which might reflect on his low self-esteem.