Summary: Chapter 25: What Loretta Said

Max tells us what happened the year after Freak died. Max didn’t go to the funeral and he never said goodbye to Fair Gwen, who moved away. Grim begged Max to come out of his room for Gram’s sake, and Gram begged him to do the same for Grim’s sake, so eventually he did.

Grim tried to convince Max that what’s important is not how long you’re here, but how you spend the time you’re here. Max wasn’t buying it. Grim reminded Max how lucky he was to have a friend like Kevin, and no matter what, Max was going back to school. 

That winter, Max saw Loretta Lee, still in her neck brace. She asked what Max had been up to. When he says, “Nothing,” Loretta tells him, “Nothing is a drag, kid. Think about it.”

Max thinks about what Loretta said. That same night, he takes out the blank book that Freak had given him. He starts writing the “unvanquished truth stuff” and keeps on writing. 

It is spring again, and Max has written his book. He feels good about the writing and remembering. Max thinks that maybe he’ll even read a few books now. 


The book ends with the dictionary that Freak compiled of his favorite words and gave to Max for Christmas. It begins with the word AARDVARK. The last entry in the dictionary is “ZOO, an eighth-grade English class.”

Analysis: Chapter 25–Freak's Dictionary

Max’s narration suggests that for a while, as he grieved the death of his friend, Max returned to the state he was in before he and Freak became friends—isolated and alone in his down under. Unexpectedly, an encounter with Loretta convinces Max to stop doing nothing and to write down the story of Freak the Mighty. By using the empty book that Freak gave him the night before he died, as well as the storytelling tools he learned from his friend, Max is able to remember, work through his grief, and tell their story, keeping Freak the Mighty alive forever. This ending is the final reveal to readers that what they have just read is the story that Max wrote down in the empty book.

The fact that the novel ends in the spring, when the world is “really and truly green all over” is a sign of rebirth and of hope for the future that suggests Max will be okay.

Freak’s Dictionary, included at the end of the novel, is the text of the dictionary Freak makes for Max and gives to him on Christmas Eve. Each entry represents a word, definition, and memory, or idea that is part of Max and Freak’s story and each is written in Freak’s unique voice. Because of his physical challenges, Freak’s impressive vocabulary is one of his most important tools. By creating a dictionary just for Max, Freak gives his friend a very special gift that captures a key element of their friendship, demonstrates Freak’s faith in Max’s own intellect, helps Max tell their story, and allows their friendship to live on.