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Monday, September 17, 2018

Ugly by Robert Hoge

UglyThe author of Ugly, Robert Hoge, was born with severe deformities of his legs and face.  They were so bad, in fact, that he spent much of his childhood in the hospital having surgery after surgery.  This is his story, a memoir, of what it was like growing up and dealing with his differences.

Since I'm a fan of the book  Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, I was interested in reading Ugly as well.  I'm glad I did.  This was a very inspirational and uplifting book (with a surprise ending) about things we all want to do: Fit in.  Be a part of a team.  Have friends.  Be good at something.

In many ways, Robert's childhood was as typical and routine as anyone's.  He had squabbles with his siblings, struggled at school with certain subjects, and occasionally got in trouble for getting into mischief with his friends.  But in other ways, Robert's life was a painful (both physically and emotionally) battle just to survive and get through each day with his dignity intact. Being the target of taunts and insults were an everyday occurrence.  Even adults could hurt his feelings with their careless and poorly thought out comments.  But somehow he made it through and managed to reach a very important and brave decision that would impact the rest of his life - a decision I don't think I could have made - on his own.

There are photographs included, which show that Robert had a loving and happy family life.  There is also a question and answer section which is interesting as well.

Robert Hoge tells his story in very simple language with clear examples and images that readers as young as 3rd grade will be able to handle, but the great thing about this book is that it is appropriate for any age person to read and appreciate.  And everyone should read this book.  The message is a powerful one: No matter how different you may be (or think you are) on the outside, you are  beautiful, unique, and important.

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