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Freak the Mighty

Thematic Bibliography Spinelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee. Boston: Little, Brown Young Readers, 1999. Maniac Magee is about a boy named Jeffrey Lionel Magee (known as Maniac Magee) who was abandoned by his parents and lived with his aunt and uncle. Many parallels in characterization can be made with Freak the Mighty. Maniac Magee and Freak the Mighty work well together because both show the exceptionality of those who are not accepted by their peers. Both novels show how individuality and one's unique abilities should be celebrated. Loser is the story of Donald Zinkoff, a quirky young man with strange ways. His peers have labeled Donald a "Loser" but a few around Donald Zinkoff know he has a unique view on life worth preserving. This book is a great way to begin a discussion on what it means to be accepted by peers and the risks students take to gain that acceptance.

Spinelli, Jerry. Loser. New York: HarperTrophy, 2003.

Trueman, Terry. Stuck in Neutral. New York: HarperTeen, 2000.

Stuck in Neutral is the narrative of a young boy Shawn McDaniel and his battle with cerebral palsy--he's trapped in his body. Shawn is sure his father wants to kill him. The father-son relationship and young people with disabilities connects this book to Freak the Mighty. Euthanasia is a difficult topic for some young people that should be carefully addressed.

Kyleen Liu. BYU. 2008

Kyleen Liu. BYU. 2008

Lord, Cynthia. Rules. New York: Scholastic, 2006.

Rules is a story of Catherine whose brother David has autism. She is embarrassed by his behavior and sets up rules for him to live by. Each chapter title is a rule. Catherine learns that it is more important to love others and accept them for their differences than try to rule their behavior in hopes to give them a normal life. Rules and Freak the Mighty both have young narrators with unique perspectives who learn life lessons from those around them with disabilities. This book will deepen students' understanding of what it means to accept others' differences. Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Al Capone Does My Shirts is about 12-year-old Moose Shirts. New York: Penguin, 2004. Flanagan who has an autistic sister and the story follows the things he and his family learn from helping her. Like the novel, Rules, his book provides insight into how young people learn to accept their family members who have disabilities. This is a historical piece set in 1935 on Alcatraz Island. Together, Al Capone does my shirts, Rules and Freak the Mighty could be used in literature circles. Katherine Paterson's Newbery Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Novel is about the friendship of Terabithia. New York: HarperCollins, Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke. 1977. This unlikely pair becomes friends. Together they use their imagination and the fantasy world to overcome the challenges in their lives. Later in the book, Leslie Burke has a fatal accident which leaves Jess grieving the loss of Leslie. Coping with Death and Friendship connect this book to Freak the Mighty.This is a children's book (grades 4-6) but deals with complex issues which makes it appropriate for older students who lack reading skills. Kyleen Liu. BYU. 2008 Kyleen Liu. BYU. 2008

Knowles, John. A Separate Peace.

A Separate Peace is a story of friendship and betrayal of two boys Gene and Phineas. Compared to Freak the Mighty, A Separate Peace is for an older audience as its subject and style is much more psychologically and emotionally deep. Students who want more challenge could be guided to this book to read on their own or in place of a simpler text. The sequel to Freak the Mighty provides greater insight into characterization. Students can make predictions based on the small excerpt from this book found in the back of Freak the Mighty. If students (especially reluctant readers) appreciated Freak the Mighty, they will continue to read the story of a character they have connected with. This website has many different writing activities and small projects that students can complete. As a culminating assessment for the unit, teachers can assign one of these writing assignments or they can introduce several of these ideas and have students assemble their work into a multigenre portfolio. This lesson plan comes from ReadWriteThink (NCTE). It describes before, during and after reading strategies. Writing activities (such as vocabulary development), web resources and assessments are also included. Teachers should visit this website if they are first beginning to plan a Freak the Mighty unit.

Philbrick, Rodman. Max the Mighty. New York: Scholastic, Inc.,1998

http://www.help4teachers.com/freak.htm

http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.a sp?id=41

Kyleen Liu. BYU. 2008 Kyleen Liu. BYU. 2008

http://www.rodmanphilbrick.com/teaching.html#freak

This webpage comes from Rodman Philbrick's website, a website that includes reading activities for Freak the Mighty as well as many of his other novels. It includes a summary of the novel, questions for discussion, ideas for activities and an author biography for enhanced reading. This document describes the problem of bullying in our schools and how young adult literature can be a tool to address this problem that many students face. In a culminating assessment students can create oral presentations on preventing/dealing with bullying at school. This website is a great place for them to begin their inquiry. This document called "Dealing with Bullies" lists wonderful young adult novels that deal with the subject of bullying. If a semester or year theme revolves around friendship or differences or acceptance, other novels may be chosen from this list to supplement reading Freak the Mighty or for students' independent reading.

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql /content_storage_01/0000019b/80/2b/25/3e.pdf

http://www.tigardor.gov/library/teens/reading_for_fun/docs/dealing_ with_bullies.pdf

Kyleen Liu. BYU. 2008 Kyleen Liu. BYU. 2008

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