Book Review: “Ugly” By “Robert Hoge”

I’m so sorry I haven’t submitted a book review in a while. I finished Explorer’s Academy (A Nebula Secret) a while back, but it had taken me so long to write a review, that by the time I was ready to write, Sidney’s review had already been published. I’m so sorry about that. I really enjoyed that book.

I’m submitting “Ugly” Book review today. Hope you enjoy it.

What it’s about:

Ugly” is not a novel. It’s the writer’s, Robert Hoge, memoir of the first 14 years of his life. Robert was born physically different. His mom, initially, couldn’t bring herself to take him home because he was “so ugly”. By the time he was 4 and a half years old, he had had 6 major operations that included amputating his left leg from above the knee, cutting off his right foot, and using cartilage from the toes to build his new nose. Despite all the physical obstacles, Robert went to a regular school, joined a sport team, and competed with people much older than he was. Yes, people looked at him. Some had questions, others teased. Some pitied, others saw him as inspiring. Was Robert upset? Yes, naturally. Did he let it stop him from working hard or being silly at school at times? Luckily, no. Like it says on the cover of the book, “Ugly” is “a beautiful story about one very ugly kid”.

Ashley says:

I have seen this book at the library before, but I did not pick it up as I thought it was meant for younger readers. Then I read a story of Robert Hoge in a magazine, and just had to look for this book. Robert was born with a medical condition that made him look different than most people. Ugly was a term people used to describe him. Even his doctors were concerned that his stand-out-in-a-crowd face might make him afraid to go out in public, let alone do things like talk to people and make friends.

Robert started the book by explaining the medical condition he was born with, in such an easy metaphor that even young kids would understand. That same explanation continued throughout the book, as Robert underwent more and more surgeries.

I have seen people with disability going about their own lives, just like I do. I am always in awe of their determination and their ability to adjust, but if I were to be honest, I would have to admit that I stared at times. I know it wasn’t polite of me, but I’m curious by nature, and things that seem out of ordinary always intrigue me. I’m glad Robert has written this memoir, and given the readers an inside of what he thought about the disability.

I find this book inspiring. That is actually not a surprise, knowing that Robert is now a journalist, a speechwriter, and a political advisor. I believe this book is easy to read, and to understand, and is even suitable for the little ones to be read to. It gives me a different perspective in life. I hope you will pick up this book when you get a chance.