Max is the narrator in Rodman Philbrick's novel Freak the Mighty and a self-professed struggling learner. He has a learning disability and has been in remedial classes up until the summer he meets Kevin. After a summer of bonding in which the boys go on quests with Max carrying Kevin around on his shoulders, Kevin asks his mom to talk the school into letting Max attend the same classes that Kevin attends, which are accelerated courses Max would never have qualified for on his own. Max's grandmother is reluctant to sign him out of special education at first, but Grim talks her into it.
But one night I come up the stairs real slow and quiet and Grim is saying "Let's give it a try, nothing else has worked, maybe what he needs is a friend, that's the one thing he's never had with all those special teachers." And the next morning she signs the papers, and when we get to school the first day, Freak helps me find my name on the list and it's true, we're in all the same classes.
Freak, also known as Kevin, teaches Max to read by allowing him to look at reading in a completely different way.
The reading stuff Freak helped me figure out by showing how words are just voices on paper. . . . Like Freak says, reading is just a way of listening, and I could always listen.
Another way Kevin helps Max is by giving him a dictionary he created himself as a Christmas book, and on another occasion, he gives him an empty book to write down all their adventures. Max is resistant at first. He feels that his hands are too big and clumsy for him to be able to write. He does it for his friend because Kevin tells him he will not have time to do it. Shortly thereafter, Kevin dies, and after a period of grieving, Max begins to write their story in the empty book, which tells "the unvanquished truth."