My Little Pocketbooks: Review: El Deafo   
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: El Deafo

El Deafo
Author: Cece Bell
Genre: Children's Graphic Novel
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Paperback: 248 pages
Source: Free from public library

Book Description

A 2015 Newbery Honor Book Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.
The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.


I saw this book at the public library and quickly added it to my pile just off of seeing the cover on other book blogs.  The funny thing is, I got this book thinking it was about a Spanish speaking character.  I mean with a title of EL DEAFO and my bad Spanish, yes, I thought it would be a POC graphic novel.  Nope! I was wrong but in a good way.
After an illness little Cece loses her hearing.  With a new fitted hearing aid and a Phonic Ear pack Cece feels a bit strange and has a hard time making friends at her new school.  She was taught how to read lips and thinks she would stand out more if she learned American Sign Language (ASL).  Cece just wants to make friends and be a normal kid at school.  Her dream one day comes true when she uses her new super ability (the hearing aid) to help out her classmates.
I loved this story for a few different reasons.  One of them being, Cece explains to the readers that being deaf means she can't hear no that she is stupid.  The author gives Cece real feelings that a child might go through with adjusting to a new school and models great parents reacting to Cece.  I love her mom and how she handles Cece's moods.  And the author explained Cece's deafness in an easy to understand graphic.
The author and illustrator Cece Bell did a wonderful job telling her story through this graphic novel.  There is nothing I would change about the book at all.  This should be a must read for all young readers.  Especially for young readers with a deaf child in their class.   

Reviews by Other Bloggers


I recommend this book to readers of all ages.


This book is number 10 in my New Author Reading Challenge
This book is number 16 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge

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