About the Book…
When we were selecting this next book, I was glad we picked this one. The back of the book described a society where everyone was given plastic surgery at 16 to be turned from an Ugly to a Pretty. When the book asked if you would betray your friend to become a Pretty and two of our girls said , “yes”, I knew we needed to read this book.
My own daughter was so freaked out by the plastic surgery, she refused to read this book until a week before our meeting. Once she started the book, she couldn’t put it down.
What We Did…
is set in a dystopian society where all the food comes out of the wall and is pretty. I thought about serving SpagBol (Spaghetti Bolognese) but thought it was too messy. Instead I served sushi and root vegetable chips with hummus, pink lemonade, and pretty cookies.
We took turns answering the discussion questions from www.scottwesterfeld.com
, talking about how pretty can equal power in today’s society and if it’s okay to betray a friend if you think you are actually helping them. Uglies
has tremendous discussion opportunities for the tween set – cliques, social media, authoritative government, environmental responsibility, peer pressure, and family relationships are all touched on at a level that this age group can identify with. It was amazing to hear the group debate different topics that don’t have a right or wrong answer; and how I think their opinions have changed over the last few years.
Our activity, also from the Scott Westerfeld website, was to design and construct our own hoverboards. Luckily, a large appliance had just been delivered a few days prior, so I cut out equal sized cardboard for each bookclub member and armed the table with cardboard tubes, coloured duct tape, tissue paper, glue guns, and other crafty items. The results were quite good:
Although I was hesitant about this book initially (mostly because I hated using the word “ugly” to describe someone), our discussion was one of the most relevant and telling ever. I really loved this book (actually, this whole series – I ended up reading them all!) and how it works through the concepts of beauty, loyalty, and society. Every girl struggling with how pretty she is and if she fits in should read this series – and learn that the best beauty feature is thinking for yourself.