We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Freak the Mighty

Freak the Mighty


by Rodman Philbrick

Analysis: Genre

Young Adult Literature, Coming-of-Age

Young Adult Literature

Freak the Mighty can definitely be enjoyed by Shmoopers of all ages. But it's got the trademark YA characteristics:

(1) It's about an 8th grader—i.e., a young adult.
(2) The language is pretty simple and probably intended for a younger audience.
(3) The word butthead is repeated like a thousand times.


Over the course of Max's 8th-grade year, he has to deal with things that would change anyone—not just an adolescent. Let's take a look:

• He finally has to face the events surrounding his mother's murder.
• His father kidnaps him.
• His best (and only) friend dies.

It's no wonder Max comes out the other side a totally different person. But Max's most significant growth revolves around how he views himself: he finally realizes that he's more than just a "butthead" who lives in his grandparents' basement. And maybe, just maybe, he might be smart. Just like Freak.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...