Study Guide

Freak the Mighty Lies and Deceit

By Rodman Philbrick

Lies and Deceit

I invented games like kick-boxing and kick-knees and kick-faces and kick-teachers, and kick-the-other-little-day-care-critters, because I knew what a rotten lie that hug stuff was. (1.4)

Wow, Max is a seriously jaded kid if he thinks that people are lying to him about hugging being a good thing. Does Max just expect that everyone's lying to him all the time?

The poison never crossed his lips, he likes to say, even though I've seen a picture of him in the army and that sure looks like a bottle of beer in his hand. (6.3)

Hmmm, looks like Grim is letting a white lie loose here. Are there other moments in the book when Grim revises the past? Is it okay?

"Shhh! Speak of this to no one, but at some future time as yet undetermined, I will enter that lab and become the first bionically improved human." (9.37)

Why doesn't Max see through Freak's big lie? Does he respect and trust Max so much that he can't imagine he'd ever lie to him? Or does he know something's up and doesn't want to face the truth?

I've been in there, in the special test unit! I have to go every few months for tests. (9.45)

Freak tries to explain his hospital visits away with a pretty cool alternative. But who is he lying to here: Max or himself?

I'm lying awake in the dark on a hot summer night and I'm thinking, Treasure in the sewer? What kind of quest is this, huh? Is Freak completely making this up or what? (10.28)

There's a fine, fine line between a lie and a make-believe quest. Where do Freak's adventures fall on this line?

"Maybe I will, maybe I won't. I can't tell your gramma about it, though, and it breaks my heart to lie to her. That's one thing we've never done." (14.37)

So Grim is honest with Max but not with Gram? What gives? Are there any characters who are honest through and through?

"I'm telling tales, my dear, not lies. Lies are mean things, and tales are meant to entertain." (15.16)

Seems like Grim might be splitting hairs here. Is a lie a lie, or are there variations?

"Tonight they'll take me down there for my special operation. The next time you see me, I'll be new and improved." (23.24)

Up until the end, Freak is 100% behind his lie. Why does he hold on so tightly to it?

"You couldn't lie to Kevin. I tried a little fib on him when he was about seven years old, because I didn't think a child could handle the whole truth, and you know what he did? He looked his disease up in a medical dictionary." (24.34)

We know for sure that Freak is capable of lying. Is that why it's not easy to trick him? Or is he just too smart for it?