Because Loretta Lee is a character who changes during Freak the Mighty, I think it is important to share at least two character traits about her. Loretta Lee is both tough and brave.
First, Loretta Lee is a tough character. She lives in the tenements with her husband Iggy. Perhaps a product of her environment, Loretta has a ragged, worn appearance as she smokes and drinks incessantly. Her tough exterior reveals a tough interior when Max and Kevin visit Loretta (in order to return her purse), and she does not exactly treat them with kindness. In fact, she insults Kevin by calling his dad a "magician" because he disappeared as soon as he heard Kevin was going to have a birth defect.
However, Loretta Lee is also very brave. Max is eventually kidnapped by his dad Kenny "the Killer" Kane. Killer Kane ties Max to the boiler in the basement where Max is unable to get free. Loretta risks her life to save Max. She is the only one brave enough to go down there. As Loretta cuts the ropes that hold Max, her hands shake violently. When Killer Kane appears, he begins “squeezing [Loretta’s] neck...[with his] two big hands.” The only reason he lets go is that Max begins telling the story of his dad killing his mom. At this point, Killer Kane switches his attention to hurting Max instead. Thus, Loretta must care about both Max and Kevin deep down inside of her. She risks her own life to save Max.