Max the Mighty

Max the Mighty

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by Rodman Philbrick, W. R. Philbrick
     
 

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This is the dramatic, heartwrenching tale of Max and Worm, two outsiders who turn to each other for survival. Written in a haunting yet uplifting first-person voice, this compelling novel is destined to become a classic.

Overview

This is the dramatic, heartwrenching tale of Max and Worm, two outsiders who turn to each other for survival. Written in a haunting yet uplifting first-person voice, this compelling novel is destined to become a classic.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW's starred review called this sequel to Freak the Mighty "a rip-roaring, heartwarming escapade." Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Bruce Adelson
Max Kane can't help being the object of much attention, at school and in the neighborhood. After all, his great size, certainly remarkable for boys his age, draws many curious stares. This book, a sequel to the author's Freak the Mighty, relates new adventures for Max. He meets a shy girl, nicknamed the 'Worm,' short for bookworm because of her love of reading. When visiting her house, Max rescues the Worm from her cruel stepfather, known ominously as the Undertaker, who protects himself by informing police that Max has kidnapped his child. Frightened and uncertain of their next move, the pair takes off on a cross-country adventure where they encounter various characters and danger before facing a rematch with the Undertaker. The author has done a masterful job creating believable characters whom readers can readily relate to. This well-crafted tale should keep the attention of all readers, especially those who crave suspense-filled stories with touches of warmth and personal growth such as this one.
The ALAN Review - H. Edward Deluzain
This is an adventure story about two kids, fourteen-year-old Maxwell Kane (Max the Mighty) and eleven-year-old Rachael (the Worm), and their flight across the country. Both come from dysfunctional families: Max's father is in prison for murdering his mother, and Rachael reads constantly as an emotional escape from abuse by her stepfather, the Undertaker. After the Undertaker falsely accuses Max of beating Rachael's mother and kidnapping the girl, they take off hitchhiking to find Rachael's real father in Chivalry, Montana. Along the way they are helped by Dippy Hippie, a retired teacher who travels the country in a psychedelic school bus, and Hobo Joe, who knows his way around the country on freight trains. When they arrive in Chivalry, they discover the town deserted and Rachael's father dead from a mining accident. After a exciting chase through the killer mine by Sheriff Goodman and the Undertaker, the kids emerge on the other side of the mountain into the waiting arms of Dippy Hippie and Max's grandfather, Grim. This deus ex machina ending aside, the novel offers fast-paced entertainment but little insight into the human condition. It is the sequel to Freak the Mighty (1993), the first of the "Mighty" books which has been made as a major motion picture called, The Mighty.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7There ought to be a law against churning out thoughtless sequels to great books. Max, introduced in Freak the Mighty (Scholastic, 1993), reluctantly runs away with Worm, the 11-year-old stepdaughter of a delusional and abusive street character he calls "the Undertaker." Hitchhiking west in search of Worm's real father, thought to be living in Chivalry, Montana, they are picked up by a widowed ex-teacher called "Hippy-Dippy," who is traveling in a `70s-style, reconditioned school bus. Their ride is interrupted by a chance meeting with an unsavory pair of con artists who recognize Max as the young teen kidnapper for whom a $10,000 bounty is being offered; the youngsters then take off and continue their journey by hopping trains. With "the Undertaker" in hot pursuit, they make it to their destination, a ghost town haunted by a catastrophic mine cave-in. There, the police, the Undertaker, Hippy-Dippy, and Max's grandfather are waiting for them. Enormous caverns of logic exist with the most obvious ones jumping out: where could the Undertaker come up with $10,000 reward money, who would take him seriously, wouldn't his checkered past spring to fluorescent light, and why would he seriously pursue this child in the first place? The emotional centerthe gripping relationship between Max and Freakis sorely missing here; readers are unlikely to connect with any of the cartoonlike characters assembled. The Hollywood ending is also lacking any semblance of credibility. Instead of this title, purchase an additional copy of the first book.Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO
Horn Book Magazine
Maxwell Kane, the guileless, oversized hero of Freak the Mighty (rev. 1/94), returns in this sequel, a little smarter and no less courageous than when we first met him. Now fourteen, Max comes to the rescue of a younger girl, Worm (short for Bookworm), who is in imminent danger of being abused by her creepy stepfather. Impulsively, Max kidnaps her, and the two set out to find her real father on a journey that leads them across the country to Chivalry, Montana. Philbrick uses Arthurian imagery, much as he did in the earlier novel, to underscore the theme. "It's all about fighting for honor and protecting the innocent and never giving up even if the whole world is against you," Worm says, describing a book she's reading about the knights of the round table. The world does seem to bear them a grudge: they are attacked by wild dogs and betrayed by a couple of con artists during their travels. But they find friends, too, who offer them food and shelter and usher them to their final destination. The characters and plot sometimes threaten to stretch the reader's sense of reality to its limits. Worm's villainous stepfather-"a street crazy with a mean streak"-for example, dresses in black, is called the Undertaker, and drives a rusty old hearse. And except for the two protagonists, the characters seem more colorful than fully fleshed out. But the two who matter the most grab your attention and engage your heart. A poignant figure, Worm is less outlandish than Max, and her surprising revelations at the end about her father have a logical consistency to them. When it's all over and Max is vindicated, his insistence that the "unvanquished truth" is that he will never be normal holds unexpected layers of meaning.
Kirkus Reviews
In this sequel to Freak the Mighty (1993), Max, the freakishly gigantic child, comes to the rescue of Rachel, called Worm because of her devotion to books. When he takes her away from her abusive stepfather, the Undertaker, Max is accused of kidnapping, and the two embark on a cross-country odyssey to find her real father. Pursued by police and the vengeful Undertaker, they make their way to Montana, where Worm's father was killed years before in a mine disaster and where they face a final confrontation with the Undertaker in the depths of the mine. While the book is populated by stock characters from central casting (an aging hippie in a '60s-style bus, a train-hopping hobo with a heart of gold, a pair of charming con artists, and, of course, the evil Undertaker), Philbrick avoids making it into a cartoon. The story moves along at a good clip, the friendship between Max and Worm is warm, and the other characters give the proceedings a touch of melodrama. Despite Max's certainty that happy endings don't happen, everything is tied up satisfyingly at the end. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780590579643
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/1998
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
96,275
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
930L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Rodman Philbrick is the author of six award-winning novels for young readers. His first novel, Freak the Mighty, won the California Young Reader Medal. It was received with great acclaim and has sold more than a million copies. The sequel, Max the Mighty, received starred reviews, and his novel The Fire Pony was named a 1996 Capital Choice. His more recent books for the Blue Sky Press are REM World; The Last Book in the Universe, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and The Young Man and the Sea, which received a starred review from School Library Journal. He and his wife live in Maine and the Florida Keys.

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Max the Mighty 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought Max the Mighty had good characters and a good story. Actually, I thought it had a good story, until the end. Don¿t get me wrong, Rodman Philbrick is a great author, but, how did Max get buried in all that stuff and still live? I know it¿s a book and it is supposed to be happy, but it would have been more believable if Max had just died in the wreckage. Max and Kevin dead¿ end of story! The positive is that I thought the characters were as solid as they were in Freak the Mighty, if not better. The book taught me that with good people around, the worst of times can become the best of times!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Basicly, this book was really easy. If you are looking for a great book that takes a really short time to read you have found Max the Mighty. The ending it great and it really touched me. It made me think about how you can escape by all the dangers of the world by hiding behind a book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Max the Mighty is a cliffhanger kind of book, it leaves you hanging on each chapter. It's mesmerizing and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It has action, adventure and as in any good book, humor. Once you open this book you just can't close it. The author of this book can really relate to teenagers in a way that no one can explain. The author of this book came to our school to talk about his books. We all really enjoyed his presence and we hope he can come again soon to talk about his new upcoming books. In conclusion, we all thought this was a really good book and we give it five stars. If you like this book you'll love his others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We think that Max the Mighty was a very inspirational book, although we think that Freak the Mighty was better. We think that this book was full of excitement and adventure! We can recommend this book to children 10+. It was very intriguing and altogether a good book. This book was also good because of the characters, like Dippy Hippy, The Undertaker, Hobo Joe, Frank and Joanie and Officer Goodman. They all had important rols in the story. The overall rating is a three star book with great adventures and interesting characters. We ould definitely read this book again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My review for Max The Mighty consisted that it was a great book and was better than Freak The Mighty.. I ways such as the story had more action and ended happily and without any deaths. Max showed a bravier side any this book like he was the hero in this book and he had more self-confidence in himself then usual.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I don't think it was as good as Freak the Mighty, but I still loved it. In this story, Max tries to help a little girl find her dad and stay from "The Undertaker."
Guest More than 1 year ago
Max the Mighy, is one of the best books I have read. I think it has a very good plot and the characters are very creative. I think this boo is more imortant that the 1st. one. I think it has a better message.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book, Max the Mighty, is an exciting book. It kept us on the edges of our seats. Everytime we came to class we were excited about reading the book. If we had to rate this book it would be 5 stars! We also recommend it to every one at every age. If we could ask the author one question, it would be, 'Can you make a third sequelto the Mighty series?' It was a wonderful book. Rodman Philbrick is a great author. You should read some of his books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We think Max the Mighty was a very interesting and suspensefull book. The characters were perfect. Max is brave all through the story and sticks to helping Worm even though he doesn't have to. We think Dip is one of the best characters in the story. He is a joyful happy guy who has a house on wheels. He takes them a long way until the cops find them-thanks to Frank and Joanie. We thought the story was very good and we give it 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like a story that has friends that do stuff their whole life and have a great time this book is for you. It is with a little kid with a big brain and a big kid with a little brain. Together they make Max the Mighty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Max the Mighty is a great conclusion to the novel Freak the Mighty because it doesn't leave you hanging on the first book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and i also love freak the might <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished freak the mighty so sad at the end. But overall i loved the book by reading some of the reviews max the mighty dosent sound as good as freak the mighty. I am not sure if i am going to buy this.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This one while not as good, was still interesting. Felt sorry for Max and the misunderstanding he had to deal with it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It shows what really goes on in the world. It shows there are abusive families and that there are kids who go through a lot. It teaches people to not judge a person by how they look and act because you don't know what they have been through and maybe still go through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read both Freak the Mighty and Max the Mighty and there is no comparison between the two which was better. Freak the mighty was so much better. While reading Max the Mighty, I felt it lost its touch with reality so to speak. It seems as one reviewer before me said, that Rodman Philbrick got bored writing it and ended it very slopily therefore we as the readers lost interest and got bored with it as well. I recommend Freak the Mighty over Max the Mighty any day!