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El Deafo Paperback – September 2, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–6—Cece loses her hearing from spinal meningitis, and takes readers through the arduous journey of learning to lip read and decipher the noise of her hearing aid, with the goal of finding a true friend. This warmly and humorously illustrated full-color graphic novel set in the suburban '70s has all the gripping characters and inflated melodrama of late childhood: a crush on a neighborhood boy, the bossy friend, the too-sensitive-to-her-Deafness friend, and the perfect friend, scared away. The characters are all rabbits. The antics of her hearing aid connected to a FM unit (an amplifier the teacher wears) are spectacularly funny. When Cece's teacher leaves the FM unit on, Cece hears everything: bathroom visits, even teacher lounge improprieties It is her superpower. She deems herself El Deafo! inspired in part by a bullied Deaf child featured in an Afterschool Special. Cece fearlessly fantasizes retaliations. Nevertheless, she rejects ASL because it makes visible what she is trying to hide. She ventures, "Who cares what everyone thinks!" But she does care. She loathes the designation "special," and wants to pass for hearing. Bell tells it all: the joy of removing her hearing aid in summer, the troubles watching the TV when the actor turns his back, and the agony of slumber party chats in the dark. Included is an honest and revealing afterword, which addresses the author's early decision not to learn ASL, her more mature appreciation for the language, and her adage that, "Our differences are our superpowers."—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
'A serious subject treated with warmth and humour.' Little London magazine "Full of warmth, humor, and superpowered strength, El Deafo is an absolute treat." Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile "Read El Deafo for the giggles, for the challenges, for the universal life experiences, and for the opportunity to be changed, even just a little. And for those readers who, like Cece, discover ways to turn the things the world calls weakness into the qualities they own as strengths, make sure to have a couple of capes on hand." Matthew C. Winner, The Busy Librarian 'It's an honest and rather sweet tale of a girl coming to terms with her disability, and as such the kind of story that will strike a chord with any child who has felt ostracised or different. El Deafo is heartfelt, eye-opening, funny and beautifully drawn.' The Financial Times 'Inspiring and honest, this is a wonderful graphic novel.' Book of the Week in We Love This Book and The Bookseller
Top customer reviews
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Cece loses her hearing at the age of four as a result of sudden illness. All at once, she has to relearn how to communicate with those around her, including family and friends. School turns out to be a bit tricky, since she can't read her teacher's lips at all times. Not to worry. Phonic Ear to the rescue!
Cece's Phonic Ear hearing aid gives her superpowers, but it also makes her feel alienated and different, not the easiest things to juggle while trying to make friends...and growing up. Sheesh.
I loved the illustrations, details and storyline. I was especially moved by her afterword about deaf culture and hearing impairment. Definitely worth reading whether you're a kid or an adult.
"I felt different, and in my mind being different wasn't a good thing. I secretly, and openly, believed that my deafness, in making me so different, was a disability. And I was ashamed."
"As I grew up, however, I made some positive discoveries about deafness and about myself. I'm no longer ashamed of being deaf, nor do I think of myself as someone with a disability...To the kid me, being deaf was a defining characteristic, one I tried to hide. Now it defines a smaller part of me, and I don't try to hide it-much. Today, I view my deafness as more of an occasional nuisance, and oddly enough, as a gift: I can turn off the sound of the world anytime I want, and retreat into peaceful silence."
I want my family to read this. I want my friends to read this. I want the whole world to read this!!!!! Cece's descriptions are dead on and this book is so important for those of us trying to live a normal life in a difficult situation. I'm forever grateful for El Deafo. And my friends, please keep the lights on and your face towards me. Thanks!
El Deafo by Cece Bell
This is a graphic novel that tells the story of Cece, a young girl who is deaf. She has to wear a contraption to school that includes a microphone for her teachers to use so she can hear their instruction. Cece feels very obtrusive wearing it and begins to imagine her alter ego--"El Deafo" who has superpowers and the confidence Cece does not have. This book spans several years of her schooling and shows the ups and downs of her interactions with her family, friends, teachers and strangers. I plan on using this book with the students in my Young Adult Literature class in the fall.