By now everyone has read or heard about Wonder, a heartfelt novel that reveals the importance of accepting others for who they are, not for what they appear to be. Ugly, a memoir by Robert Hoge, is a wonderful nonfiction pairing with Wonder, or a great book on its own for those who want to know about the experiences of growing up with physical challenges and overcoming them.
Robert’s life in school is predictably rough because of his physical disabilities, but he overcomes those far easier than the challenges he faces fitting in. Thanks to a loving family that never let Robert feel that he couldn’t do what his brothers and sisters were able to, Robert accomplished milestones beyond what his parents and doctors dreamed when he was born.
This memoir explores kids kindness and cruelty but also gives examples of how adults can positively or negatively change a child’s perceptions of his abilities. Ugly gives us a chance to reflect on what we can do to encourage others and capitalize on their attributes over anything else.