Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I finished reading the book "Ugly" a couple weeks ago. This is a true story, written by Robert Hoge. My mom heard about this book a few months ago and was interested in reading it, so I bought it for her for her birthday, and we read it together. Here is a short synopsis of the book:

When Robert Hoge was born, he had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. Surgeons removed the tumor and made him a new nose from one of his toes.  Amazingly, he survived—with a face that would never be the same.  

Strangers stared at him. Kids called him names, and adults could be cruel, too. Everybody seemed to agree that he was “ugly.” But Robert refused to let his face define him. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. And Robert came face to face with the biggest decision of his life, he followed his heart.

This poignant memoir about overcoming bullying and thriving with disabilities shows that what makes us “ugly” also makes us who we are. 

The book was really good! It was written for adults, but is simple enough for adolescents to understand. I think it would be a great book for middle schoolers to read, just to give them some perspective on what it's like to be different, and how much unkind words and bullying can hurt.

Below is a picture of Robert as an infant, and below that is a picture of Robert and his parents after one of his surgeries:
And this is Robert today. When the doctors wanted to give Robert another surgery to make his face look even more "normal," he said, "Thanks, but no thanks," and opted to not have the surgery. He basically said that if people can't accept him with the way he looks, then that is their problem. I have to give him respect; I'm pretty sure I'd get the surgery! I guess I'm just more vain, and would want to look as normal as I could.
My one disappointment with the book is that it didn't include how Robert met his wife (their little family is pictured above). I'm so glad that Robert could find someone that was able to accept him the way he isnot everyone would—so his wife sounds like a great woman.

This book definitely helps you realize that it's important to be kind to everyone, especially those who are different. They are still people and deserve respect, even if their exterior isn't quite normal.


Roger D. Hicks said...

This is fascinating and I have never heard of Robert or his book. But it ties into a novel which someone I know wrote, "The Patron Saint Of Ugly" by Marie Manilla. Here is her website: I think you would enjoy the book. Keep writing. I enjoy your blog a great deal.

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