Why is Max afraid of growing up?

Max is afraid of growing up because he is afraid he will become like his father, who is a convicted murderer. His physical similarity with his father is often remarked upon as well as Max's own aggression.

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Max is the main character in Freak the Mighty. He is in middle school, though he reminisces about his childhood at times. Max lives with his grandparents, Grim and Gram, because his mother is deceased and his father is in prison. We learn throughout the novel that his father, "Killer Kane," was rightfully convicted of killing Max's mother, Annie.

Throughout the book, many people agree that Max looks like his father. Grim and Gram express concerns that Max might take after his violent father. In day care, Max was nicknamed "Kicker" because he would kick anyone who touched him. This early violent streak only fed into concerns that Max would grow up to be like Kane. However, Max detests his father. We find out later in the novel that he witnessed his father murdering his mother. Max has no desire to be like his father, but it seems inevitable that he will turn out like him due to their resemblance and similarities.

Both Max and his grandparents worry he will become like his father when he gets older. However, in the novel, Max confronts his father and helps stop him from committing another murder. This confrontation allows Max to understand that he is not destined to become like Kane.

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