Free Lunch

Free Lunch

Book - 2019 | First edition
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"Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle's first semester in sixth grade. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school's free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex's is a compelling story of a more profound hunger--that of a child for his parents' love and care. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told with the voice and point of view of a 6th-grade kid, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Norton Young Readers, an imprint of W. W. Norton & Company, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781324003601
Branch Call Number: 362.77569 O35F
Characteristics: 206 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Many students across the United States receive a free or discounted lunch through a subsidized school lunch program, and Rex Ogle was one of them when he was growing up. This is the story of his first semester of sixth grade.

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Aug 21, 2020

Free Lunch is so honest, raw, and alive. Any child who has had to suffer the indignities and shame of poverty on any level, in any form, will connect with this story. I did. I thought the free lunch program would be the main topic but actually it's just the top layer. There're a whole lot of deeper issues underneath. Still, hope is never far away. Every kid should read this, either to feel less alone or to be aware of others who are. Recommended. 4 stars.

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Jan 29, 2020

Reading the story of Ogle’s childhood was admittedly difficult, but I am glad I did and am grateful to him for telling it. He was honest and straightforward, and I think a lot of kids (and adults!) will relate and find hope from it.

Dec 09, 2019

I am so glad I pulled this book off the shelf!. It is a heart-wrenching, gutsy account of the author, Rex Ogle's, childhood.

Rex is hoping sixth grade will be a great year, or at least an improvement on the past. Unfortunately, he starts the first day with a black eye thanks to an incident at home that has become all too common for him. Then he discovers he's been enrolled in the Free Lunch Program. While all the other students hand over their cash, he must shout out his name and status to the hard of hearing lunch lady in the checkout line.

Rex's typical day includes leaving home without breakfast and making it through school while being taunted about his secondhand clothes, free lunch, and dilapidated backpack. Once he gets home, there's the empty refrigerator, a needy little brother, and an abusive mother and her even more abusive boyfriend. If it wasn't for the rare visits and phone calls from his grandmother, Rex would probably lose all hope.

Is there hope for Rex? Read to find out!

ArapahoeBethM Oct 24, 2019

Haunting but hopeful story of Rex entering middle school and being lunch shamed and teased for being small, and facing bigger challenges at home unreliable adults. Would recommend to anyone wanting to know what some kids in our communities are going through. Quick and rewarding read.

ArapahoeSusan Oct 16, 2019

This gritty, raw, painful, and hopeful book is Rex Ogle's memoir of his 6th grade year and his family's struggle with poverty. With one out of five children in America living at, or below, the poverty line, this is a must-read for everyone. Rex wrote it for middle graders but it will grab your attention no matter what your age.

Oct 15, 2019

Fearless story of growing up in poverty and living through childhood trauma. Thoughtful and hopeful.

Sep 13, 2019

It is sad that in America - the richest country on earth- can not afford to give all children in public schools free lunch. These children will be our future - shaming them and having them go hungry is no way to treat children. The GOP supporting evangelicals have no end to their hypocrisy. #WWJD Shame!


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