Rodman Philbrick, the Newbery Honor writer of Freak the Mighty, talks friendship, creating technique, and character impetus in this Scholastic publication Clubs–exclusive interview. Two unique, quirky characters join forces in Freak the Mighty to stand approximately their bullies and also learn about the power of friendship. ~ reading, we couldn’t assist but wonder if author Rodman Philbrick attracted on his own real-life friendships to create their story.

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The award-winning author—and former longshoreman and boat builder—provided answers to several of our burn questions. Review his interview with your class to uncover the impetus behind Rodman’s book, his very own childhood friendships, and his strategy to writing.

Scholastic publication Clubs: What was your thinking for including Freak’s dictionary in the back of Freak the Mighty? Rodman Philbrick: The actual boy who motivated the character of Kevin had an progressed vocabulary in ~ a young age. Therefore I want him to express self in a method that might be over a reader’s vocabulary level in, say, fifth grade. However I also wanted that leader to recognize what Kevin supposed without having to look at it increase in a separate dictionary. This way, every the reader needs to do is flip to the finish of the book. Of course, when I started writing word interpretations in Kevin’s voice, i got brought away and wanted the to it is in interesting and funny, just like Kevin. Language deserve to be so lot fun, it simply makes you want to play with it. SBC: The surname of the chapters are really unique. What was the motivation behind naming the chapters? RP: In my opinion, there’s just one factor to usage chapter titles. The title need to make you want to check out the chapter. The title provides a promise: turn the page, watch what happens—you won’t be disappointed. Just to pick one title, how deserve to you not uncover out what “Into the Black down Under” means? i double-dare you not to review “Close conference of the Turd Kind.” can not be done! SBC: Freak the Mighty celebrate friendship. Together a child, exactly how did you celebrate and lift up her friends? RP: now that’s tough. What did we execute to continue to be friends? we ran wild in the woods, pretending the Frankenstein’s monster was chasing us. We told each various other outrageous stories inspired by the comic publications we devoured. Us rode our bikes under hills, no hands, laughing all the way. The best way to keep friendship alive is to find whatever delight you can in life and share it with a friend. SBC: did you do it been writing for a lengthy time and also have authored over a dozen books. What inspires you to save writing? RP: After all these years, that still fun making stuff up!


How execute your college student lift up their friends and also each other? we’d love to hear from you! you re welcome share their answers on social media making use of the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.

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Rodman Philbrick grew up ~ above the new England coast, where he functioned as a longshoreman and boat builder. For plenty of years, he composed mysteries and detective novels because that adults. Then, influenced by the life of a boy that lived a couple of blocks away, he wrote Freak the Mighty, the award-winning young-adult novel that has actually been analyzed into countless languages and is currently read in institutions throughout the world. The book was adjusted for the display as The Mighty, certification Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson, James Gandolfini, Kieran Culkin, and Elden Henson.Rodman is the author of a variety of novels for young readers, consisting of The Fire Pony, Max the Mighty, REM World, The Last publication in the Universe, The journal of Douglas Allen Deeds, The Young Man and also the Sea, The large Dark, Wildfire, and also The largely True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, which won a Newbery respect in 2010 and was perform on stage at the Kennedy center in Washington, DC, in 2012. Photo credit: january Bamberger