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Friday Freebies: Ugly by Robert Hoge

August 14, 2015

*freebie posted 14th August, enter by 20th August 2015*

A beaut story about one very ugly kid.

Ugly on  deskRobert Hoge has told his inspiring story on ABC’s Australian Story, to other media and in a successful memoir for adults, Ugly.

In this new book he writes about his childhood and early teen years, especially for children. We have 10 copies to give away.

Try a free extract of the book here.

Hoge was the fifth child in a working class family. He was born with a tumour in the middle of his face, and two damaged, shortened legs. There wasn’t another baby like him in the whole of Australia, let alone Brisbane. But the rest of his life wasn’t so unusual: he had a mum and a dad, brothers and sisters, friends at school and in his street. He had childhood scrapes and days at the beach; fights with his family and trouble with his teachers.

He had doctors, too: lots of doctors who, when he was still very young, removed that tumour from his face and operated on his legs, then stitched him back together. He still looked different, though. He still looked … ugly.

This young readers edition is at times painfully honest about the family’s adjustment to having a baby with disabilities. It talks about bullying and self-doubt, but also love and friendship and acceptance. It invites kids to feel empathy. And it’s inspiring.


Hogue says:
‘Young people want to talk about appearance and being different. It’s a central theme of their lives.
Ever since the adult edition of Ugly came out I’ve had hundreds of conversations with kids about looking different and being disabled.
Every single one has been honest and engaging, and I’ve learnt a lot. These conversations are the reason this book exists.


(Educators, if you’re interested in using this book in your classroom you can find notes to assist here.)

We have 10 copies of Ugly (young readers edition) to give away.

To enter, post a comment on the Friday Freebies story on our facebook page, telling us what’s your favourite true story for children, and why. The 10 most interesting and original responses by 5pm Thursday 20th August will win a copy of the book, courtesy of our friends at Hachette Children’s Books.