Rummanah Aasi

Description: Robert Hoge was born with a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs, but he refused to let what made him different stand in the way of leading a happy, successful life. This is the true story of how he embraced his circumstances and never let his 'ugly' stop him from focusing on what truly mattered.

Review: Ugly is a memoir, set in Australia, that grabbed my attention right away with its humor, honesty, compassion, and grace. It is an eye opening read about being born and living with severe physical deformities. As a child, Hoge was in general healthy, but his mother initially did not want to keep him because of his appearance. He was born with mangled legs and a large tumor in the middle of his face. Doctors predicted that surgery might kill him. Nevertheless, they proceeded with several operations to "fix" Hoge in the hopes they would help improve his life and make him "appear normal". As the years passed, Hoge experienced many ups and downs such as getting the right fit with his prosthetic and learning how to walk in them, wanting to play traditional and popular sports but is not able to because of his disability, and making loyal friends while also dealing with bullying.
  Despite his disability, the memoir also highlights a more traditional childhood from being mischievous at school, attends summer camp, unsuccessfully auditions for a junior choir, and performs in a talent show. While winning battles, Hodge always wished to belong and underwent multiple surgeries to "improve" his face. And despite wanting to look more "normal," Hoge later made a conscious decision not to have any more operations, which is really remarkable and emphasizes all of us to embrace our differences.
  Hodge's writing is very accessible and easy to read. He uses analogies to clarify complex themes and it had the right balance of humor and candidness that makes the story conversational and compelling rather than preachy and dry.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Gabe and Izzy by Gabrielle Ford
1 Response
  1. Boy, what a good book to have for upper elementary and middle grade students who are so wrapped up in themselves and appearances!

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails