Today my students finished reading Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. I've used this book with my classes several times over the past 10 years and every year it always surprises me how much my students love this book. This year's class was no exception. They loved the book, which suits this teacher just fine! It catches me by surprise each time I teach this book just how much my students love this book. It's different from what usually catches my student's attention. There is no bad language, it's not particularly violent, there are no vampires (or other mythical creatures). What it does have are two main characters who desperately need a friend and form a very unlikely friendship with each other. Max is a 13 year old boy who is huge for his age and even though he's physically built to be a bully, too often finds himself the target of bullying. He lives with his grandparents (Grim and Gram) and has no friends and even less self esteem. Kevin, also called Freak, is a pint-sized genius who seems to be Max's opposite in every way. However, its these differences that help lead the boys to form the friendship of a lifetime. If you're looking for a great book for the middle schooler in your life consider Freak the Mighty. It's as close to a guaranteed hit at you can get with kids that age!