Ugly: a memoir

Author: 
Robert Hoge

Reading Level: Grades 4-7

This memoir traces the life of Robert Hoge from the time he was born in 1972 until he turned 14.  Robert was born with enormous tumor in the middle of his face.  His eyes were on either side of his face and he had only holes for a nose.  Besides the mass on his face, his legs were twisted and stunted.  Mary, Robert’s mother was horrified.  She thought the baby looked like a monster.  She didn’t want to take him home.  Her doctor told her to put the baby away in an institution.  Her husband, Vince, told her that it was up to her.  For over a month the baby stayed at the hospital.  Then Mary decided to ask their other kids.Vince and Mary told them about their baby brother; how he looked, his legs and the fact that he might also be mentally challenged.  Then Mary pointed to each of her children and asked, “Should we bring Robert home?”  All four voted yes.  Robert had many operations.  The tumor was removed.  The unusable parts of his legs were amputated.  He got prosthetics and learned to walk.] He went to school and made some friends.  Not everyone was nice.  He learned to do things his way and to be his own person in a world that thinks he is very, very ugly.

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Another interesting biographies and memiors about living with a disability are:

Small Steps: the year I got polio by Peg Kehret

Med Head : my knock-down, drag-out, drugged-up battle with my brain by James Patterson and

Temple Grandin : how the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world by Sy Montgomery

Engrossing stories about kids living with a disability are:

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper

Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan and

The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff

 

 

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