Rodman Philbrick, the Newbery Honor writer of Freak the Mighty, speak friendship, composing technique, and also character inspiration in this Scholastic publication Clubs–exclusive interview. Two unique, quirky personalities join pressures in Freak the Mighty come stand approximately their bullies and learn about the strength of friendship. After reading, us couldn’t help but wonder if writer Rodman Philbrick drew on his very own real-life friendships to create their story.

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The award-winning author—and previous longshoreman and boat builder—provided answers to few of our burning questions. Check out his interview with your class to uncover the impetus behind Rodman’s book, his very own childhood friendships, and also his method to writing.



Scholastic book Clubs: What was your thinking for consisting of Freak’s thesaurus in the earlier of Freak the Mighty? Rodman Philbrick: The actual boy who motivated the character of Kevin had actually an progressed vocabulary in ~ a young age. Therefore I wanted him come express himself in a means that might be above a reader’s vocabulary level in, say, 5th grade. However I also wanted that leader to know what Kevin expected without having to look it up in a separate dictionary. This way, all the reader needs to do is flip to the finish of the book. Of course, as soon as I began writing word interpretations in Kevin’s voice, ns got lugged away and also wanted it to be interesting and also funny, just like Kevin. Language deserve to be so lot fun, it just makes you desire to play v it. SBC: The surname of the chapters are really unique. What was the an inspiration behind specify name the chapters? RP: In mine opinion, there’s just one reason to usage chapter titles. The title have to make you desire to read the chapter. The title provides a promise: rotate the page, view what happens—you won’t be disappointed. Simply to choose one title, how deserve to you not uncover out what “Into the Black under Under” means? i double-dare you not to check out “Close encounter of the Turd Kind.” can not be done! SBC: Freak the Mighty celebrate friendship. As a child, how did girlfriend celebrate and also lift up her friends? RP: currently that’s tough. What walk we do to continue to be friends? us ran wild in the woods, pretending the Frankenstein’s monster to be chasing us. Us told each other outrageous stories inspired by the comic publications we devoured. We rode ours bikes down hills, no hands, laughing all the way. The best way to save friendship lively is to find whatever pleasure you can in life and share it v a friend. SBC: you’ve been creating for a long time and also have authored end a dozen books. What inspires you to keep writing? RP: After all these years, the still funny making ingredient up!

 

How carry out your students lift up their friends and each other? we’d love to hear from you! you re welcome share their answers on society media using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.

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Rodman Philbrick flourished up top top the brand-new England coast, wherein he worked as a longshoreman and also boat builder. For countless years, he created mysteries and also detective novels because that adults. Then, inspired by the life the a boy who lived a few blocks away, he wrote Freak the Mighty, the award-winning young-adult novel that has been interpreted into plenty of languages and also is currently read in schools throughout the world. The book was adjusted for the display as The Mighty, starring Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson, James Gandolfini, Kieran Culkin, and Elden Henson.Rodman is the writer of a variety of novels because that young readers, including The Fire Pony, Max the Mighty, REM World, The Last book in the Universe, The newspaper of Douglas Allen Deeds, The Young Man and the Sea, The large Dark, Wildfire, and The largely True Adventures the Homer P. Figg, which won a Newbery honor in 2010 and was performed on phase at the Kennedy facility in Washington, DC, in 2012. Photo credit: january Bamberger