Freak the Mighty Questions and Answers
by Rodman Philbrick

Freak the Mighty book cover
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Where does the story Freak the Mighty take place?

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Valentine England eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty is set in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and it follows a year in the lives of Maxwell "Max" Kane and Kevin the "Freak."

Portsmouth frequently serves as a dangerous space for Max and Freak, with both boys facing their own private "settings." Kevin, who suffers from a birth defect that has left him unable to walk without the use of crutches and leg braces, is often confined to clinical settings; he spends a great deal of time in the hospital, where he dreams up the concept of a "bionic body" in order to cope with the burden of his illness. Max's most challenging environment is perhaps the classroom, as he finds himself struggling through his schoolwork and unable to keep up with his peers.

Together, as "Freak the Mighty," Max and Freak exist within the space of the imaginary. Their collective powers (Freak's mind and Max's strength and stature) allow them to go on wild adventures without ever leaving the confines of their modest town.

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I had to smile a bit when I read your question because it's not really fair to ask the "where" of this story.  Why?  Well, the actual answer to your question is known as Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  The author, Philbrick, himself has told us this, so we can be sure of it.  Portsmouth, New Hampshire is where Philbrick went to high school, so it was a perfect place to set the story. 

HOWEVER, the question isn't fair because lots of the story is set among Freak the Mighty's IMAGINARY adventures!  Kevin, for example, is always imagining his body without the effects of pain and prefers himself in this imaginary world.  At one point, the two search for dragons in an imaginary land.  In another scenario, Kevin instructs max to get to the medical research area of the hospital.  Why?  Because that is where...

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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