Robert Hoge was born to a suburban Australian family in 1972; he had a large tumor on his face and malformed legs most likely the result of his mother taking medication before she knew she was expecting. At first his mother, who had four other children at home, didn’t want to see her son and considered abandoning her youngest to a Home. Her doctors even recommended it. However, she quickly came around and became a champion for her youngest son.
I knew I was ugly. But everyone is uglier than they think. We are all more beautiful too.
Robert underwent several surgeries as a child including amputating both his legs, building a new nose and bringing his eyes closer together on his face. His parents planned his numerous surgeries early in life so he was able to enroll in elementary school with a less deformed face and prosthetic legs. While he couldn’t participate in most team sports and he was teased a lot in school Robert managed to make friends and live a relatively normal life. Hoge’s overall message to the reader is that we are all worthwhile people and despite our differences we should just get along.
Robert reminded me a lot of Auggie from Wonder which if fitting since I didn’t realize at first that this was a book geared towards children. Hoge is a capable writer but his story ended very abruptly! After some “investigating” it appears he wrote two versions and I just picked the wrong one. Goodreads’ description says the book covers from his birth to the birth of his own child but the copy I read ended when he was a teenager. I understand making a shorter book when you’re trying to appeal to ten and twelve-year-olds but it was such a sudden ending! If Hoge’s story appeals to you I would suggest trying to find the “adult” version of his story because it sounds like it has more detailed information.