Rodman Philbrick, the Newbery Honor writer of Freak the Mighty, speak friendship, composing technique, and also character motivation in this Scholastic book Clubs–exclusive interview. Two unique, quirky characters join forces in Freak the Mighty come stand approximately their bullies and also learn about the strength of friendship. After ~ reading, us couldn’t assist but wonder if writer Rodman Philbrick attracted on his own real-life friendships to write their story.

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

Scholastic publication Clubs: What to be your reasoning for including Freak’s dictionary in the back of Freak the Mighty? Rodman Philbrick: The genuine boy who influenced the personality of Kevin had an progressed vocabulary in ~ a young age. Therefore I wanted him to express himself in a method that might be above a reader’s vocabulary level in, say, fifth grade. However I likewise wanted that reader to understand what Kevin meant without having actually to look at it increase in a different dictionary. This way, all the reader has to do is flip to the end of the book. Of course, when I started writing word meanings in Kevin’s voice, ns got carried away and also wanted the to be interesting and funny, similar to Kevin. Language can be so lot fun, it just makes you desire to play with it. SBC: The surname of the chapters are an extremely unique. What was the an inspiration behind specify name the chapters? RP: In my opinion, there’s only one factor to use chapter titles. The title should make you desire to check out the chapter. The title provides a promise: revolve the page, check out what happens—you i will not ~ be disappointed. Just to choose one title, how can you not uncover out what “Into the Black under Under” means? i double-dare you no to read “Close conference of the Turd Kind.” can’t be done! SBC: Freak the Mighty celebrate friendship. Together a child, exactly how did friend celebrate and lift up her friends? RP: currently that’s tough. What walk we carry out to remain friends? we ran wild in the woods, pretending that Frankenstein’s monster was chasing us. Us told each other outrageous stories influenced by the comic books we devoured. Us rode ours bikes under hills, no hands, laughing all the way. The best means to save friendship lively is to find whatever delight you have the right to in life and also share it v a friend. SBC: you’ve been composing for a lengthy time and have authored over a dozen books. What inspires you to save writing? RP: After every these years, the still funny making ingredient up!


How perform your students lift up your friends and each other? wednesday love to hear from you! you re welcome share their answers on society media utilizing the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.

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Rodman Philbrick grew up top top the new England coast, whereby he worked as a longshoreman and also boat builder. For numerous years, he created mysteries and also detective novels for adults. Then, inspired by the life that 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 plenty of languages and also is now read in colleges throughout the world. The book was adjusted for the display screen as The Mighty, starring Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson, James Gandolfini, Kieran Culkin, and also Elden Henson.Rodman is the author of a variety of novels for young readers, including The Fire Pony, Max the Mighty, REM World, The Last publication in the Universe, The newspaper of Douglas Allen Deeds, The Young Man and the Sea, The huge Dark, Wildfire, and The largely True Adventures that Homer P. Figg, which won a Newbery respect in 2010 and also was perform on phase at the Kennedy center in Washington, DC, in 2012. Photo credit: jan Bamberger