Robert Hoge, author of Ugly, shares remarkable memoir with elementary classes
Published : Tuesday, October 31, 2017 | 4:13 PM
It’s not always easy to teach children to look beyond disability and disfigurement to the beauty and strength that resides within. Yet, on October 20, High Point Academy 3rd through 5th graders had the rare opportunity to learn about triumphing over disability first-hand, from author Robert Hoge.
Hoge, a journalist and multi-talented writer, is the author of Ugly: My Memoir (originally published by Hachette Australia, 2015), his extraordinary memoir about growing up with disabilities in 1970s Australia. The book is both heartbreaking and heartwarming as it chronicles Hoge’s struggles with his disability and disfigurement stemming from a facial tumor and leg complications at birth–birth defects that almost prompted his parents to leave him at the hospital. Surprisingly funny and endearing, the book ultimately compels readers large and small alike to embrace and celebrate our differences.
According to High Point Librarian Jennette Neville, who welcomed Hoge to her very special class on Friday afternoon, “When I book-talked his memoir to the kids, I told them it’s a real-life version of another great book and its upcoming movie, Wonder.” High Point mom Cynthia Chylinski worked with Neville and the San Marino Bookstore, to make Hoge’s author visit possible. The students—and eager parents, who also attended—were enthralled by the author’s talk.
“The way he shared his story made me feel like he was speaking personally to me. I felt his story. He changed the way I think about people with disabilities. I hope he writes more books.” – Eliana Gonzalez (5th Grade)
“His words were inspiring. Don’t give up and don’t worry about what other people think of you.” -Anthony Brogan (5th Grade)
“He was charming, had a great sense of humor and was a good sport.” -Junen Xu (5th Grade
“It was the best author visit we’ve ever had!” -Lavinia Shong (5th Grade
All of the children were offered the opportunity to purchase and read Ugly prior to meeting the author. Books were also offered for sale at the event, and Hoge graciously signed the children’s copies at the event. The book talk is one of a series of author visits scheduled for the school year.
High Point Academy, 1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road, Pasadena, (626) 798-8989 or visit www.highpointacademy.org.