Freak the Mighty: Ornithopter

In Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick there is a machine called an Ornithopter bird in which the story is shaped by. The bird creates the relationship between characters.

The whole story is based on the characters relationship with one another. The characters are two boys named Kevin “Freak” and Maxwell “Max” Kane. The two become friends quickly despite their physical and mental differences. Their friendship begins early on in the summer before eighth grade when Kevin and his mom Gwen moved into a duplex down the block from where Max’s lives with his grandparents. Being curious at what is going on; Max decides to walk over to their new house.

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Once there, Max watches as Kevin annoyingly bosses the movers around. Kevin then turns around and sees Max standing there watching him. Max’s becomes frightened of Kevin and runs quickly to his room in the basement of his grandparent’s house. After sitting in the dark for a while Max peeks out a window and sees Kevin waving his crutches in the air at a tree. Max slowly slinks to the tree and slowly reaches up to get a paper object out of the tree. Kevin explains to him that it is an Ornithopter bird.

Max is impressed by Kevin’s vast knowledge of things including Ornithopter birds. Soon, the two play with the Ornithopter until the rubber band breaks. Each time they wound up the bird for its next flight they became better and closer friends. The Ornithopter bird appears again towards the end of the book when Kevin is in the hospital and Max is brought to him. Max’s brings the bird to his visit with Kevin.

It is the last time they talk before Kevin dies the following day.