'Robert Hoge was born with a massive tumour, severely distorted facial features, legs that were twisted and useless, and a mother who didn't think she could take her son home. His life could have been achingly sad, but with his family he filled it with joy, optimism and the naughtiness of boyhood.
''One Saturday morning in early August 1972, my parents sat my two brothers and two sisters down and explained the situation. Then came the big question. One by one my parents asked my siblings whether they thought they should bring me home. In turn each of them said, "Yes, bring our brother home".'
'Home for the Hoges was the bayside suburb of Wynnum, Brisbane. Mary knew that her son's life would be filled with challenges but together with his dad Vincent they did everything they could to give Robert a typical Australian childhood, full of pranks, school camps and bad haircuts. But behind the smiles Robert, and his family, endured gruelling, dangerous operations that made medical history to give him a better life.
'Ugly is Robert's account of those years, from his birth to the arrival of his daughter in 2002. It is the story of an extraordinary person achieving great things by living an ordinary life.' (Publisher's blurb)
'A beaut story about one very ugly kid.
'Robert Hoge was born with a tumour in the middle of his face, and legs that weren't much use. 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.
'Ugly is the true story of how an extraordinary boy grew up to have an ordinary life, and how that became his greatest achievement of all. ' (Publication summary)
Writing Disability in Australia:
|Type of disability||Malformed legs, facial tumour.|
|Type of character||Primary.|
|Point of view||First person.|