4F for Freaks, by Leigh Hobbs

Miss Corker had a creeping feeling that the ‘F’ in 4F stood for…

When the brand-new teacher, Miss Corker, meets her new class, 4F, she quickly realises the children are a little different. With monikers such as Unfriendly Irwin, Feral Beryl and Terribly-tough Timmy, 4F is class of misfits with no desire to learn or to please. But perhaps the Teacher’s Handbook will help Miss Corker in her quest to get them learning.

4F for Freaks is a funny offering from Leigh Hobbs, the author/illustrator creator of Horrible Harriet and Old Tom. It is not politically correct – the word ‘freaks’ may send a shudder down some adult spines – but is really not offensive, either. Hobbs sets out to make readers laugh with the silliness of the story, and does it well. Along the way there’s a message hidden in the depths of the tale about teaching methods and about finding the good in everybody, but the message is not as important as the pure fun of the book.

4F for Freaks is suitable for ages 7-12 and with only a sentence or two per page and plenty of Hobbs’ funny cartoon-style drawings, would be suitable for reluctant readers.

4F for Freaks, by Leigh Hobbs
Allen & Unwin, 2006