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Ugly

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This true story of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face is perfect for fans of Wonder—now with exclusive paperback content!
 
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 in their own ways. Everybody seemed to agree that Robert was "ugly." But Robert refused to let his face dictate his entire life. Then, when 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.

* Features an exclusive introduction, photographs, and Q&A from the author! *

★ "Eminently readable . . . a gripping readaloud, readalone, and discussion point all on its own."--BCCB, starred review

"A jaw-dropping story of resilience, courage, and fierce hope."--New York Times bestselling author Joan Bauer
I’m the ugliest person you’ve never met.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. No one had any idea what was coming. My parents had four children before me, and I should have been born, plain and simple. On a Friday. But July 21, 1972, came—and almost went—without much to show for it.

As midnight neared, however, my mother, Mary Hoge, went into labor. My parents didn’t own a telephone, so Mom rushed next door and asked the neighbors to call my father, Vince, home from work. Dad raced back from his job at a factory that made food for chickens. They had no time to spare. It would take them about half an hour to reach the hospital from our suburban Brisbane home.

My father arrived, jumped out of the car into the dark night and ran upstairs. He packed my mother into the car as fast as he could, and they left for the hospital.

When Mom was admitted, her contractions that signaled the baby was coming were two minutes apart. Her baby should be there very soon. But at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning the contractions stopped dead. The doctors were worried and told my parents they might have to induce labor if the contractions didn’t restart. Mom was sent to the hospital ward to wait. At 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 23, her contractions resumed. It was a long, difficult labor for a fifth baby, and I was born at 12:35 p.m.

Back then, a mother’s usual first question would have been: “Is it a boy or a girl?” But something didn’t seem quite right, so my mother had a different question for the doctors.

“Is my baby okay?” she asked.

“No, Mrs. Hoge,” the doctor said, looking up in shock. “He is not okay. He has a lump on his head, and something wrong with his legs.”
Reviews for UGLY:

★ "Eminently readable . . . a gripping readaloud, readalone, and discussion point all on its own."—BCCB, starred review

★ “Writing with humor, honesty, compassion, and grace…Hoge captures the nuances of his atypical experience…Hoge’s parents’ determination to provide him with as normal an upbringing as possible, combined with his own outgoing nature and desire to participate in all activities, makes his coming-of-age story unique and universal.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“In this honest, painful, and often funny memoir, readers will identify with Hoge’s realization that everyone is different, and his are just ‘different differences.’”—Booklist

“The text is enormously accessible; Hoge draws readers in with creative language and analogies to help clarify and set the tone of his complex story…This empowering story will reach even the hardest of hearts. Recommended for its message of tolerance and acceptance.”—School Library Journal

“Robert Hoge writes his exceptional life story in straightforward, compelling prose that forced me to question how I often I judge what I see around me. Bravo, Mr. Hoge! Please write more books.”—Holly Goldberg Sloan, bestselling author of Counting By 7s

"Ugly made me think, it made me feel both joy and sadness, but most of all, it made me laugh. This is an honest, intelligent, and descriptive story of what it's like to grow up with a disability, including the good, the bad, and the...ugly."—Shane Burcaw, author of Laughing at My Nightmare

"A jaw-dropping story of resilience, courage, and fierce hope."—New York Times bestselling author Joan Bauer
Robert Hoge has done pretty much every kind of writing there is. He has worked as a journalist, a speechwriter, a science writer, and a political adviser. He's also written numerous short stories, articles, and interviews that have been published in Australia and overseas. When he's not writing, Robert enjoys photography and talking with people about looking different and being disabled. He lives in Brisbane, Australia, and is maried and has two amazing daughters.

Visit him at RobertHoge.com and follow him @RobertHoge. View titles by Robert Hoge

About

This true story of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face is perfect for fans of Wonder—now with exclusive paperback content!
 
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 in their own ways. Everybody seemed to agree that Robert was "ugly." But Robert refused to let his face dictate his entire life. Then, when 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.

* Features an exclusive introduction, photographs, and Q&A from the author! *

★ "Eminently readable . . . a gripping readaloud, readalone, and discussion point all on its own."--BCCB, starred review

"A jaw-dropping story of resilience, courage, and fierce hope."--New York Times bestselling author Joan Bauer

Excerpt

I’m the ugliest person you’ve never met.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. No one had any idea what was coming. My parents had four children before me, and I should have been born, plain and simple. On a Friday. But July 21, 1972, came—and almost went—without much to show for it.

As midnight neared, however, my mother, Mary Hoge, went into labor. My parents didn’t own a telephone, so Mom rushed next door and asked the neighbors to call my father, Vince, home from work. Dad raced back from his job at a factory that made food for chickens. They had no time to spare. It would take them about half an hour to reach the hospital from our suburban Brisbane home.

My father arrived, jumped out of the car into the dark night and ran upstairs. He packed my mother into the car as fast as he could, and they left for the hospital.

When Mom was admitted, her contractions that signaled the baby was coming were two minutes apart. Her baby should be there very soon. But at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning the contractions stopped dead. The doctors were worried and told my parents they might have to induce labor if the contractions didn’t restart. Mom was sent to the hospital ward to wait. At 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 23, her contractions resumed. It was a long, difficult labor for a fifth baby, and I was born at 12:35 p.m.

Back then, a mother’s usual first question would have been: “Is it a boy or a girl?” But something didn’t seem quite right, so my mother had a different question for the doctors.

“Is my baby okay?” she asked.

“No, Mrs. Hoge,” the doctor said, looking up in shock. “He is not okay. He has a lump on his head, and something wrong with his legs.”

Praise

Reviews for UGLY:

★ "Eminently readable . . . a gripping readaloud, readalone, and discussion point all on its own."—BCCB, starred review

★ “Writing with humor, honesty, compassion, and grace…Hoge captures the nuances of his atypical experience…Hoge’s parents’ determination to provide him with as normal an upbringing as possible, combined with his own outgoing nature and desire to participate in all activities, makes his coming-of-age story unique and universal.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“In this honest, painful, and often funny memoir, readers will identify with Hoge’s realization that everyone is different, and his are just ‘different differences.’”—Booklist

“The text is enormously accessible; Hoge draws readers in with creative language and analogies to help clarify and set the tone of his complex story…This empowering story will reach even the hardest of hearts. Recommended for its message of tolerance and acceptance.”—School Library Journal

“Robert Hoge writes his exceptional life story in straightforward, compelling prose that forced me to question how I often I judge what I see around me. Bravo, Mr. Hoge! Please write more books.”—Holly Goldberg Sloan, bestselling author of Counting By 7s

"Ugly made me think, it made me feel both joy and sadness, but most of all, it made me laugh. This is an honest, intelligent, and descriptive story of what it's like to grow up with a disability, including the good, the bad, and the...ugly."—Shane Burcaw, author of Laughing at My Nightmare

"A jaw-dropping story of resilience, courage, and fierce hope."—New York Times bestselling author Joan Bauer

Author

Robert Hoge has done pretty much every kind of writing there is. He has worked as a journalist, a speechwriter, a science writer, and a political adviser. He's also written numerous short stories, articles, and interviews that have been published in Australia and overseas. When he's not writing, Robert enjoys photography and talking with people about looking different and being disabled. He lives in Brisbane, Australia, and is maried and has two amazing daughters.

Visit him at RobertHoge.com and follow him @RobertHoge. View titles by Robert Hoge