Sunday, May 29, 2016

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Cover image for El deafoThis is another graphic novel, but of a very different quality to Tiny Titans. This is a memoir of the author's experience with becoming mostly deaf at the age of four and learning to cope with others' reactions to her hearing aids. Many of the stories she tells are about her attempts to find real friends. She talks about one friend who was overly manipulating, but Cece stuck with her for a long time because she wasn't bothered by the hearing aids. She talks about another friend who takes her on as a kind of trophy charity case, "This is my little deaf friend." A third friendship is going well until there is an accident and Cece hurts her eye. The friend feels so badly that, on top of her hearing loss, she might have become blind as well, that she doesn't dare play with her any more. In each case Cece imagines what she would do if she were the superhero, El Deafo, and it helps her get through her struggles. The illustrations are in full color, and do a great job of communicating in a simple way the main character's complex emotions about all that was going on. I really enjoyed this book, and, as a hearing aid wearer myself, (though I obtained my aids at a much older age) I could relate with some of her experiences. This was a Newbery Honor book last year, and the award was well deserved. (233 p)

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