How did Max and Kevin meet in Freak the Mighty?

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As was mentioned in the previous post, Max recalls meeting Freak in the day care as a young child. Max also remembers Freak pretending to be a robot on the playground of the day care. Years pass before Max has another opportunity to meet up with Freak. In Chapter Two, Freak and his mother move into a home on the same street as Max. In Chapter Three, Max notices that Freak is struggling to retrieve something out of the tree in his back yard and is standing on an American Flyer wagon to extend his reach. Max ends up walking over to Freak's back yard and grabs the "ornithopter" out of the tree to give to Freak. The two characters reunite, and Max shows Freak his bedroom by pulling him along in his American Flyer wagon. Shortly after they reunite, the two characters become best friends. 

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Long before they united to become Freak the Mighty, Max and Kevin met in day care. Max was known as Kicker then, because he liked to kick-box and kick faces and kick teachers. Max admired Kevin because of the crutches he used and, later, for the metal braces on his legs. Then, Kevin disappeared--"he just never came back to day care"--and Max didn't see him again till one day when he was in the third grade when he caught a glimpse of Kevin "scowling at me from one of those cripple vans." The two boys next met up during the summer before they both entered the eighth grade when Kevin and his mother, the Fair Gwen, moved into the same apartment complex as Max and his grandparents. They soon became best friends before teaming up--Kevin's brain and Max's brawn--to become Freak the Mighty.

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How do Max and Kevin meet?

In Rodman Philbrick's novel Freak the Mighty, Max is the main character. The novel is told from his point of view. The novel is about the symbiotic friendship that Max forms with Kevin, and their adventures together. 

Max and Kevin first meet at a young age (though the author doesn't give the exact age) in daycare. In chapter one, entitled "The Unvanquished Truth," Max describes their first meeting in the following quote: 

"That's when I got my first look at Freak, that year of the phony hugs. He didn't look so different back then, we were all of us pretty small, right? But he wasn't in the playroom with us everyday, just now and then he'd show up."

Max and Kevin meet again in the summer after Max's seventh-grade year. Kevin and his mother move into the other side of the duplex where Max lives with his grandparents, Gram and Grim. Max and Kevin's first conversation takes place in chapter two which is entitled "Up from the Down Under." Max decides to go outside into the backyard where he sees Kevin. He says:

"Then the strange little dude jerks himself around and he catches sight of me and he lifts a crutch and points it at up my heart and he goes, 'Identify yourself, earthling.'"

Max doesn't know how to respond to such a greeting at first. Then he recognizes Kevin as the "weird little robot kid from daycare," and thinks that Kevin must recognize him as "Kicker." Their friendship gets off to a rocky start as Kevin pulls the "trigger" on his crutch and says, "Then die, earthling, die!"

Later, in gym class, bullies roll a ball at Kevin so that he will fall, and blame Max for the deed. This further alienates the two boys. Kevin becomes Max's reading tutor, and that is when their friendship starts to blossom. They become Freak the Mighty, with Kevin as the brains and Max providing the brawn.

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