Reading, Teaching, Learning

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Slice of Life - Freak the Mighty

 I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing.

     I thought I was okay.  I was nearing the end of book (stop if you've never read Freak the Mighty because you're about to read a spoiler), reading aloud to my 6th graders - this was the first time I've ever read Freak the Mighty aloud - when I got to this line: "His heart was simply too big for his body." I lost it - all the composure I had conjured up before this scene, knowing what was going to happen because I read it last summer, dissipated when the doctor explains to Max that Kevin died.  I started to cry and had to stop reading. 

     There is a strange thing  that happens when you cry at a point in  a read aloud in front of a class.  There's a hush that falls over the room.   Kids are unsure of what to do.  Some are crying  with you,  some are quietly waiting, others are impatiently prompting you to keep reading. 

     I recovered eventually, I got a box of tissues and passed them around, and continued the story.  The class loved the book.  It's funny, raw, and so, so sad.  I imagine the kids will remember the friendship that Maxwell and Kevin...Freak the Mighty...forged.  And the day their teacher cried over the boy who slayed dragons, embarked on epic quests, and whose heart was too big for his body. 


  1. Oh I love that book. I will never forget the day that my class emailed Philbrick and he emailed right back. We were stunned like fans at a rock concert. Such a great book that Freak the Mighty!

  2. I just read this book and loved it! I was looking at two of my students this year and thinking that they were like Freak the Mighty! I go through crying in front of my kids when I read Where the Red Fern Grows. Every time! There really is a hush that goes over the room. Mine happens before the super sad part but they know something is coming because my voice changes. Then the flood gates open and they aren't really sure what to do! I love it!

  3. I've never read this one aloud, but you described perfectly what happens in a classroom when the teacher cries. It's inevitable that certain books will touch us so profoundly that tears will come. And it's a good experience for our students too!

  4. I've had those moments while reading ONE AND ONLY IVAN, OUT OF MY MIND, and WONDER aloud. The kids then know how powerful reading is!

  5. Today I read the end of Pax. Some kids paced the room. "It's so intense!" I couldn't read the last page. My students know this about me, so T jumped up and read it for me. Then there were exclamations of No! No! Don't you love how emotional we all get about a book?

  6. It is so good to know there are many others out there who also cry. I think it helps our students see as people and makes that connection to reading that much stronger. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!