Though Kevin is a child who should arouse pity in people, adolescents can be cruel, and his extreme intelligence and crippled body probably earned him more taunts than friends. Max saw in Kevin a kind of mirror image in reverse: Max, a huge boy who continues growing throughout the book, understands the troubles someone with unusual physical traits can face. Max also feels intellectually inferior, and he sees comparisons with Kevin's unusual brilliance. They are opposites, yet they face the same social dilemmas when it comes to making friends and fitting in. Max remembers Kevin from when they were younger, and he holds no grudges against the tiny boy. Max is also a gentle soul who is innately kind, and when he helps Kevin to retrieve his toy from the tree, Kevin is quick to see this side of Max. Once the two combine to become Freak the Mighty, Max's comes to realize he is not as dumb as he thinks. Kevin stimulates Max and encourages him, and Max comes to love and depend upon his little friend.