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Review: El Deafo

January 22, 2016


El Deafo

The youngest of three children, Cece Bell was born with normal hearing but was left profoundly deaf after contracting meningitis at the age of four.  She was fitted with hearing aids for daily wear and with a Phonic Ear for school days.  She attended kindergarten with other hearing impaired students and learned some lip reading skills.

Cece’s family moved over the summer and she always felt left out.  She imagined she was a superhero but realizes

Superheroes might be awesome, but they are also different.  And being different feels a lot like being alone.

Cece didn’t like it when people treated her differently and yearned to find a true friend who will accept her the way she is.


I love graphic memoirs so when I saw Louise from A Strong Belief in Wicker review El Deafo by Cece Bell, I knew I had to read it, and I’m so glad I did.  This prize winning book is a gem.  Cece feels like everyone else and just wants to fit in.  Her big, bulky Phonic Ear makes her feel like she stands out, though, and not in a good way.  No one was deliberately mean to Cece but she doesn’t appreciate being referred to as “my deaf friend.”  She wants a true friend who will treat her like everyone else.

Oh, how I loved this book!  The story is terrific and so are the full color illustrations.  El Deafo gave me a new appreciation of what it’s like to feel different because of a disability.  It also made me realize how isolated a hearing impairment can make someone feel.   There’s a note from the author in the back of the book that’s not to be missed.  This book is aimed at younger readers but I recommend it to everyone ages 8 and up.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2016 6:35 am

    This looks adorable!

  2. January 22, 2016 9:29 am

    Kind of a crazy coincidence. I am reading a book by Barry Eisler called The God’s Eye View. It’s an fictional in-depth look at the NSA and some of its tactics. And one of the protagonists lost his hearing at the age of 3 from meningitis. I just read that yesterday. Yours sounds like a good one.

  3. January 22, 2016 10:24 am

    I have heard so many good things about this book. I really must read it.

  4. January 22, 2016 2:12 pm

    Your love for this book shines through and makes me want to read it ASAP! Definitely sounds like a must-read! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy 🙂

  5. January 22, 2016 2:43 pm

    This sounds like a terrific book!

  6. January 22, 2016 3:03 pm

    This really does sound like a wonderful book and I the main character, with her hearing problems, is one a lot of children would benefit from reading about.

  7. Literary Feline permalink
    January 22, 2016 5:29 pm

    This does sound like a terrific book. I will have to add it to my wish list.

  8. January 22, 2016 7:08 pm

    So glad that you loved El Deafo so much. I struggle a bit with the graphic genre, but am happy to keep reading some from time to time.

  9. Patty permalink
    January 22, 2016 8:24 pm

    It looks and sounds wonderful!

  10. January 22, 2016 9:44 pm

    This sounds fantastic!

  11. Beth F permalink
    January 23, 2016 7:01 am

    To echo everyone else: this sounds wonderful and I love the art. I hope my library has a copy.

  12. January 23, 2016 11:16 am

    Hi Lloyd, I loved El Deafo, and in fact thank Cece for it in the acknowledgments of The God’s Eye View–it was one of my sources for getting a better idea of the experience of childhood deafness. Hope you’re enjoying God’s Eye.

  13. January 23, 2016 1:09 pm

    This looks really good. I’d like to read more graphic novels/memoirs this year so I’ll look for this one.

  14. January 24, 2016 10:03 am

    Looks like a great read. I need to bring my GN reading pile down a bit first, but this might just make the next TBR pile!

  15. January 25, 2016 11:27 am

    My kids and I loved El Deafo. Glad to see you are still here reading and blogging!
    Hope all is well.

  16. bookingmama permalink
    January 26, 2016 9:39 am

    This sounds terrific. Thanks for sharing!

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