Archive for July 1, 2013

The Ugly One

Written by Leanne Statland Ellis

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Micay, Beautiful Round Face, is known by far too many in her Incan tribe as Millay, the Ugly One. She keeps to herself as much as possible because her ugliness has been a source of torture for her as long as she can remember. The young men her age, particularly Ucho, never let her forget the fact that she is different. They make fun of her because her face is marred with a scar that extends from her right eye to below her lip. Of course, she wishes things were different; she wishes she were beautiful like her sister. But since she is not, she just wants to be left alone at which time she can draw comfort from her family and her faith in the Sun God. One day a stranger traveling from the jungle to Machu Picchu gives her a baby macaw. Her life takes on new meaning as the bird blossoms and connects her with Paqo, the medicine man, or Shaman. Will her scar eventually heal so that she can be like others, or is she destined for greater things?

Readers will feel Micay’s pain and rejoice in her victories. Putting themselves in her shoes, girls at the third to fifth grade levels will cheer at every advance Micay makes toward discovering her mission in life and boo whenever bullying rears its ugly head. Ellis provides such wonderful detail that the reader is transported to the times when the Incan Empire ruled. Boys will enjoy reading about these wondrous times. Finally, teachers will appreciate the reference materials at the end of the book. Reading comprehension for these fifth grade readers should be at an all-time high in this beautiful story about Incan culture.

Author’s Website:

  • The Ugly OneTitle: The Ugly One
  • Author: Leanne Statland Ellis
  • Publisher: Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Reviewer: Bonita Herold
  • Hardback: 245 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-547-64023-5
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Lexile Score: 780
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