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1 Beaverton Children's- Science Fiction and Fantasy



Uglies Cover

ISBN13: 9780689865381
ISBN10: 0689865384
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $5.50!


Out of Print

Reading Group Guide


by Scott Westerfeld

About the Books

Living in a future where sixteen-year-olds are surgically transformed from "uglies" to "pretties," Tally Youngblood struggles with a choice: to become beautiful and content forever, or to leave the world she knows and keep her own face. Tally's decisions bring her to both locations as well as others she'd never dreamed of, but they also get her in and out of trouble, and force her to grow and change and learn. Westerfeld's books have won many nominations and awards as well as a huge fan following of teens everywhere. Uglies was named a 2006 Best Book for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.

Discussion Topics

On your sixteenth birthday, how would you feel about being forced to have the surgery to become pretty? Would you feel like Tally — looking forward to being beautiful and bubbly — or like Shay — wanting to escape the surgery and stay ugly, but remain herself? If your best friend asked you to not have the surgery, what do think you would have chosen to do?

What elements of the Smoke remind you of a camping trip you've taken or one you've seen on TV or in a movie? What advice would you give the Smokies about living in the wild?

Tally has three important guys in her life: Peris, David and Zane. How does her relationship with each of the three effect her decisions at different points in the story? Which of the three do you think made the greatest impact on Tally?

Compare Tally's society with our society today. What are the similarities between Dr. Cable's controls and our own government? Just as Tally and her friends were brought up learning about the failure of the Rusties' society, what lessons can be learned from the future portrayed in the series?

The author created new worlds, new technology and new language for the books. Which location — New Pretty Town, the Smoke, or Diego — would you want to make your home? Which of Tally's futuristic possessions — a hoverboard, a sneak suit, SpagBol — would you like to own? What were your favorite slang words in the series?

What do you think was the pivotal point in each of the three books? What would you change about them?

What are Tally's strongest assets and her tragic flaws? What about Shay? David? Zane?

Is Dr.Cable a protagonist or an antagonist? At what points in the series does she seem more good than evil or more evil than good? Does she have the best interests of the people of Pretty Town at heart or is she simply trying to gain power and prestige?

If the Uglies series was made into a movie, who would you cast to play the part of Tally? Shay? David? Zane? Peris? Dr. Cable? Where in the world do you think it should be filmed? Who would be the best director for this project?

Who was your favorite character in the series? How did you feel about how they ended up at the end of Specials? Which character do you think is the most like you or your friends?

Imagine that David decided to live in the city of Diego. What challenges would he face there, having grown up in the wild? What would a day in the life of David in Diego be like? Do you think he'd get used to his new life, or decide to return to his old one?

Where do you see Tally two years after the end of Specials? How about Shay? Peris? What do you think Pretty Town and Diego would be like two years later?


Design your own hoverboard. First make a blueprint including what kinds of gadgets you would include in its secret compartments, then make a prototype using cardboard, paper towel rolls, markers, etc.

Act out a scene from one of the books. Assign parts to each participant and choose your favorite scene — maybe Tally's first trip to New Pretty Town to visit Peris, the invasion of the Smoke by Special Circumstances, or the destruction of the Armory.

Put a pretty spin on a sport (think about the suspended ice skating rink in Pretties) and come up with your own bubbly rules and regulations.

Put yourself in Dr. Cable's shoes. Take turns telling the Specials story from her point of view and include what you think her motives were behind her actions in the previous two books.

Design your own Smoke fashions, Diego surge or sneak suits. What materials found in the wild could you use to fit in at the Smoke? In Diego, would you have a snake for a pinky? How would you use your sneak suit in your everyday life?

Debate the benefits of Pretty Town versus the Smoke versus Diego. Form three teams — one pro-Diego, one pro-Smoke and one pro-Pretty Town — and discuss the positives and negatives of each.

Look at the covers of Uglies, Pretties and Specials. Then re-draw your own version of each of the covers highlighting your favorite scene from each book.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 25 comments:

chand04523, May 5, 2015 (view all comments by chand04523)
How would you feel if you were trapped in a society where you were considered 'ugly' until the age of 16, when you would then undergo an extensive surgery to make you 'pretty'? Well, for 15 year old 'ugly' Tally, her life is about to change forever. Everything she has has ever known gets tossed upside down when Tally's friend Shay rejects the idea of becoming 'pretty' and urges Tally to run away with her. "Uglies' by Scott Westerfield is a brilliant fictional novel which captures its readers interest with romance, excitement, and just a splash of humor. Personally, I've read every book in the "Uglies" series and I loved every one, Westerfeild beautifully captures the thoughts that teenagers today can relate to and portrays those aspects throughout the novel.
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amuebelhard, May 14, 2014 (view all comments by amuebelhard)
I really enjoyed this book. It was a really interesting book.

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Kacey, January 2, 2014 (view all comments by Kacey)
This book is so bubbly reader-wal, I almost can't handle it! Ok, so the made up slang from the book gets kind of annoying. If you can get past that, the book is fantastic. Everyone in this society is born ugly and are creatively called Uglies. When you reach a certain age you get high tech surgery to make you pretty. Can you guess what those people are called? Well, the main character is on the verge of getting her prettifying surgery when she gets wrapped up in rebels and conspiracy plots. Very exciting, fun, and ironically a great self esteem boost! Highly recommend!
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Product Details

Westerfeld, Scott
Putnam Juvenile
Action & Adventure
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Science fiction
Social Situations - General
Social Situations - New Experience
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Science Fiction
General Juvenile Fiction
Social Issues - General
Social Issues - New Experience
Action & Adventure - General
Fantasy & Magic
Teenage girls
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
March 2005
Grade Level:
from 7
7 x 5 in 10.08 oz
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Featured Titles » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » New Experience
Young Adult » General

Uglies Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Putnam Juvenile - English 9780689865381 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this launch title of a planned trilogy, teenager Tally Youngblood is living an unexamined life in a world unlike ours, hundreds of years from now. She's impatiently awaiting her birthday because in her town, Uglyville, everybody gets the same gift at age 16: cosmetic surgery which transforms them into gorgeous creatures. They also move into 'party towers' in New Pretty Town. Tally's best friend has already made the transition and, motivated by her desire to see him, she sneaks into town. Her near-capture leads to a new best friend, Shay, who has the same birthday. On the eve of their operations, Shay reveals a plan to escape to a renegade settlement called 'the Smoke.' When Shay disappears, government agents blackmail Tally into leading them to the rebels. Once in the Smoke, Tally has a crisis of conscience when she learns the surgery is more sinister than she imagined. Teens will appreciate the gadgetry — including bungee jackets and hoverboards that work by magnetic levitation. But plausibility problems creep in, such as Tally leading a breakout of Smokeys from a high-tech compound while wearing handcuffs. As in his So Yesterday, Westerfeld introduces thought-provoking issues, but readers may lose track of the plot while sorting the many messages about how the 'Rusties' nearly destroyed the planet. They may also feel cheated when, after 400-plus pages, the ending leaves loose ends to be tied up in the next installment, Pretties. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[H]ighly readable with a convincing plot that incorporates futuristic technologies and a disturbing commentary on our current public policies. Fortunately, the cliff-hanger ending promises a sequel."
"Review" by , "[T]eens will sink their teeth into the provocative questions about invasive technology, image-obsessed society, and the ethical quandaries of a mole-turned-ally."
"Review" by , "With a beginning and ending that pack hefty punches, this introduction to a dystopic future promises an exciting series....[T]he awesome ending thrills with potential."
"Review" by , "This book, the first in a trilogy, asks engaging questions about the meaning of beauty, individuality, and betrayal. Highly recommended for SF fans or anyone who likes a good, thoughtful adventure."
"Synopsis" by , In Tally's world, one's 16th birthday brings an operation that transforms them from a repellent Ugly to an attractive Pretty. Tally wants to turn into a Pretty, but her friend Shay would rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, the authorities give Tally a terrible choice.
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