“[A] quiet, deeply moving story.” —The Bulletin
Twelve-year-old Micay walks around her fifteenth-century Incan village shielding the scarred side of her face that inspired the cruel name Millay, or “Ugly One.” She escapes to her huaca rock, avoiding the villagers who shun her. Her world shifts dramatically when a stranger gives her a sorry-looking baby macaw. The bird becomes her dear companion on a journey that ultimately leads her to a new role as shaman in Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sun City. Told in an engaging storyteller’s voice, this is a stirring tale of a girl who finds her own strength.
About the Author
Leanne Statland Ellis teaches third to fifth graders in the Chicago area. She was inspired to write The Ugly One by her travels in Peru, including two visits to Machu Picchu. She lives near Chicago with her husband and daughter.
"The Incan empire's four-century ascendance has inspired plenty of nonfiction and over-the-top fantasy but perplexingly little historical fiction for kids. This recommended title can help fill that void."
"This quiet, deeply moving story reminds readers of the true nature of beauty."
"Micay's intimate narration weaves in Quechua vocabulary and abundant references to Incan folklore, enhancing the novel's vivid sense of time and place."
"A gripping story of a girl who transforms from a cowed outcast into a confident leader, this will find an audience among tweens and teens beginning to question what fate has in store for them."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books