A funny, moving, and true story of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face that's perfect for fans of Wonder—now available in the U.S.
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. It features a reflective foil cover and black-and-white illustrations throughout.
Writing with humor, honesty, compassion, and grace, Hoge recounts his life story, having been born with such severe physical deformities that his mother refused to see him. "Don't even consider bringing him home," a doctor said, "just forget him" advice his four older siblings voted to ignore. Corrective surgeries continued throughout Hoge's childhood as his medical team worked to give him "a new face that was more acceptable to society." Hoge captures the nuances of his atypical experience; for example, he acknowledges "the doctors' wonderful ingenuity in making me a new nose" out of an amputated toe, but "Toe Nose" tops his list of hurtful nicknames ("To this day, it's the one nickname that has any real power over me"). 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. His first independent medical decision testifies to the power of a loving family and a courageous soul. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12. Author's agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. Illustrator's agency: Bright Agency.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Before I talk my piece about the book,I would like to thank the amazing author Robert Hoge for sharing his moving life story with us readers🤗I know it can’t have been an easy childhood, but I know you’re pretty dang amazing just the way you are!😊You’re unique and strong.You aren’t UGLY and you never were.You are an amazing,strong,and moving person!People look up to you,and you’re story inspires them.Yes you don’t look like everyone else,but who cares???God made you perfectly just the way you are,and you should never doubt that!❤️Fitting in is a pointless endeavor.I get bullied in school,and I don’t bother with stupid trends or popularity.If I tried to be like the people who pick on me or belittle me then I would be a terrible person,so I figure why bother???The point is your looks don’t define you,but how you act and what choices you make in life do.Your face is beautiful to me!😊Your book was incredibly moving and got me through a lot in the past couple years😁So again I thank you,and I hope you have an amazing week🤗👋
It’s a great book, but also sad. After the first chapter I started to cry, why would a mother not want her baby? But then I noticed that Robert didn’t care much about his differences. He just had different differences.
A couple years ago, I read this book and it was absolutely amazing. I just say it a couple months ago and convinced a couple to read it. He has such a way to pull you in and make you wanna keep reading. At first, I thought it was gonna be a flop because it was named ugly, but when I actually read it, it was so breathtaking and heartbreaking and amazing to know this actually happened to Robert Hoge. This book deserves hundreds of thousands of reads and I hope it does get there!