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.