What might be a reader's first impression of Freak the Mighty?

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Well, keep in mind that this is an opinion question so your "first impressions" might be different from my "first impressions" of Freak the Mighty.  That being said, I am happy to share my own ideas. My first impression is one of sadness for both of the boys.

Kevin is immediately presented as being incredibly intelligent, but made fun of because of his birth defect (which has resulted in him needing braces on his legs). In fact, Kevin has earned the nickname of “Freak,” even as a very young child due to his deformity.  I am saddened by the cruelty of the other children towards Kevin.

Max is immediately presented as being very strong, but lacking in self-confidence. We know this because he uses mild violence to get his way and to cover up what he thinks is lower intelligence. In fact, Max has earned the nickname of “Kicker,” even as a very young child.  I am further saddened by the thoughtlessness of the other children towards Max.

It is only after the two join together and become the unified character of "Freak the Mighty" that my sadness switches to happiness at seeing the blossoming friendship between the two boys. It is this friendship that boosts both of their self-confidence levels and allows them to achieve many of their goals.

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