Study Guide

Freak the Mighty Chapter 5

By Rodman Philbrick

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Chapter 5

Spitting Image

  • The look the Fair Gwen gave Max stays with him. He lays in the dark and just can't get her face out of his mind.
  • Gram knocks on the door and asks if she can talk to him about a phone call from Gwen.
  • Max's heart sinks. He figures she called to warn Grim and Gram about "a great hulking beast" in their basement (5.7). Poor Max.
  • But it turns out Gwen was calling to apologize. She hadn't expected Max to be so big, and she's worried that she offended Max with her reaction. Yeah, running away from someone as fast as you can tends to have that effect.
  • It turns out that Gwen was a friend of Max's mother, and now she wants to invite Max over for dinner. Max isn't too thrilled about this prospect, but Gran convinces him to go. She tells Max that he wasn't the one who scared Gwen, but stops short of saying who it was. Hmmm. Very mysterious…
  • When Max goes over to dinner, it's not so bad. Gwen explains how she and his mother were friends until his mom married "that man."
  • Seems like no one really wants to talk about Max's dad.
  • She says she's sorry for how she reacted. Freak spills the beans and tells him it's because Max is the spitting image of his father.
  • Aha.
  • It turns out Max's father is in prison. No one talks about it, even though everyone knows why he's there. Unfortunately for Max, not only is he big for his age, but he also looks exactly like his dad. Which explains why people tend to run the other way when he's around.
  • After the awkwardness about Max's dad, they all end up having a really great dinner.
  • When Max gets home, he lies down on his bed and starts crying—happy crying. That's a feeling he's not used to.

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