• Free Lunch

  • By: Rex Ogle
  • Narrated by: Ramon De Ocampo
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (132 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A distinctive new voice: Rex Ogle's story of starting middle school on the free lunch program is timely, heartbreaking, and true. 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 listenable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told with the voice and point of view of a sixth-grade kid, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller.

©2019 Rex Ogle (P)2019 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

“Outstanding, gracious writing and a clear eye for the penetrating truth. A mighty portrait of poverty amid cruelty and optimism.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

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What listeners say about Free Lunch

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Wonderful Read

Fantastic book about the trials and resilience of a low income youth growing up in the United States. I enjoyed this book as much as my 8 year old daughter did.

3 people found this helpful

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Can’t stop listening

I love books about poverty struggles and stuff like that. I highly recommend this book to rich people.

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This is about as real as you can get

So much truth in what some of my students have gone through. I always have hope that their lives not as hard as Rex's. Worth it to get a grasp of the students that most people do not want to think about.

2 people found this helpful

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A hard story beautifully delivered

This was a hard story to hear, but I am grateful to have heard Rex’s story as it reminds me that we are not always aware of other people’s realities.

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Heartfelt true story

After reading this book I realized there's a huge stigma related to kids in poverty. This gave me insight into a child's thoughts and feelings while experiencing poverty.

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Eye-opening.

Coming from a very middle class background, I haven't encountered students in a situation like Rex had, not that I can recall, anyway. Ramon's narration is, as usual, spot-on, hitting all the right emotional notes and voices for different sequences. This book truly shows that some have it worse off than others, and some take that for granted.

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okay but .

good story, however if you're a victim of DV then the ending where he assumes blame and forgives his abusers isn't a cycle to condone. that being said it's a reality that dv often reoccurs due to it stemming in childhood. hopefully the 2nd book in October is a better "end".

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Good

Great story! However, there are some curse words in the story. So, it's for kids but specific age, not any age.

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really sad

I loved it and it was a sad story about free lunch. favorite book ever

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the oscars

the oscars. I have been comforted, but the only one who has a great day and I am a very nice, and the last time. . I have been comforted, but the only one who has a great day and I am a very nice, and the last time. . I have been comforted, but the only one who has