How do Gram and Grim show love and care for Maxwell in Philbrick's Freak the Mighty?

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Grim and Gram have had their grandson Max with them ever since their daughter was killed by her husband about ten years earlier. During this time, they have provided him with a room of his own, food, shelter, and love. First, Grim and Gram have always shown an interest in Max's education, which is one way to demonstrate that they care. For example, they actively participate in parent/teacher meetings and work with his teachers to help Max in his resource classes.

Another way that Grim and Gram show how much they love and care for Max is in Chapter 8. After Max is brought home from the Fourth of July celebration by the cops, he looks and smells like a mess because he ran into the pond with Kevin to escape bullies. Grim and Gram don't get mad at him. In fact, they give him ice cream and coffee to commemorate the occasion. Max responds by thinking the following:

"By the time I polish off the ice cream, Grim is handing me coffee in a china cup, from the set they never use" (42).

These gestures make Max feel loved and cared for because his grandparents are making a fuss over him. If they didn't care about him, they would just tell him to take a shower and go to bed. Not only that, but Grim and Gram discuss the bully situation with Max and spin it in a positive way to make Max feel better about everything. They never belittle him or make him feel stupid, even though he may feel that way on his own. 

Then, in Chapter 14, Max hears Grim and Gram arguing about whether Grim should protect the family from Killer Kane with a gun. Gram doesn't want her husband to use a gun; however, Grim shows his love for Max by saying the following:

"He fooled 'em . . . Just like he fooled Annie. Just like he fooled us once upon a time. Never again, though. That man tries to set foot in this house I aim to shoot him" (90).

Clearly, Grim and Gram love their grandson Max because they are willing to do whatever it takes to protect him from bullies and Killer Kane. Once Max is kidnapped, they never give up searching for him, either. Then, after Kevin dies, Grim and Gram are there for Max as he grieves and goes back to school. Max is lucky to have such great grandparents to look after him.

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