Graphic Novel Review: El Deafo

Cece Bell just wants to live her life and make friends without her hearing aids getting in the way. This graphic novel memoir will appeal to a wide range of students.

El Deafo by Cece Bell, color by David Lasky.
Amulet Books Imprint, Abrams, New York, 2014.
Graphic novel memoir, 242 pages.
Newberry Honor winner, 2015.
Lexile: not yet leveled
AR Level: 2.7 (worth 2.0 points)

Cecilia Bell just wants to live her life, make friends and have fun.  But she lost her hearing after a bout of childhood meningitis, and now she has to wear hearing aids.  Even worse, at school she has to wear the phonic ear, a special device that allows her teacher’s voice to travel from a microphone directly to her ear.  She soon discovers that most teachers forget to turn the phonic ear off, allowing her to hear them anywhere in the school building.  This leads to an imaginative fantasy life where she transforms into El Deafo, superhero with mesmerizing rosebud underwear and the power of feedback!  Meanwhile, in real life she’s trying to navigate friendships in the hearing world, a tricky business as the only student in her school who can’t hear.

el-deafo-cover2
El Deafo by Cece Bell

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