Article Title

The Ugly One


Liz Kazandzhy


Excellent, Intermediate, Young Adult, Leanne Statland Ellis, South America, Ancient Civilizations, History, Religion, Incans, Self-Esteem, Beauty, Peru

Document Type

Book Review


Micay is a 12-year-old Incan girl known in her village as “The Ugly One” because of a large scar that runs along the right side of her face. Because of being bullied relentlessly by the boys in the village, she has become secluded and tries to avoid others so as not to shame them with her ugliness. But all that changes one day when a stranger comes to town and gives her the gift of a baby macaw. As the macaw (named Sumac) grows bigger and more handsome (and also occasionally defends Micay from her bullies), Micay also grows in her own self-confidence, and as the new chosen apprentice of the shaman Paqo, she begins to integrate more among the village people. Meanwhile, the whole empire is suffering from a drought, and when Micay takes a journey to the most holy city, she helps to end this drought and learns just how special she is.