Freak the Mighty

Book review by Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 9+

Outcasts join forces and conquer readers' hearts.

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 106 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 14+

Rating doesn't cover the myriad of topics discussed in this book.

This book deals with a lot of difficult topics that some kids may need help unpacking. The rating says there is no smoking, drinking, or drugs. However, there are multiple references to alcohol, smoking, and other illicit behaviors. In fact, one of the side characters is an alcoholic. The grandfather is a chain smoker as well. Another character has a cigarette in her hand at every appearance. The rating also says there is no swearing, but there is a lot of name calling within the bullying aspect and thought process of the main character (midget, retard, etc.). In addition to the above, the book deals with bullying, gang violence, domestic violence, and murder. It also covers disability and child death. There is also discussion of violence within schools, including explosives. It is a rough book to read through and many young readers will have a difficult time unpacking these topics without guidance. Left to their own, a younger audience may feel a lot of disappointment by the end of the book. Do I think there is value in the book? Yes. However, I think guidance is needed for younger readers. The description is just misleading because while there is a friendship story, there is so much more going on as stated above.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
4 people found this helpful.
age 18+

This title has:

Too much violence
2 people found this helpful.

Book Details

  • Author: Rodman Philbrick
  • Genre: Friendship
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
  • Publication date: January 1, 1993
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
  • Number of pages: 169
  • Last updated: September 22, 2020

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