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El Deafo

By: Cece Bell

Illustrator: David Lasky

Going to school can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! Author’s note. Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9781419710209

JLG Release: Nov 2014


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination: Disability
Topics: Graphic novels , Hearing impairment , Hearing aids , Elementary school , Friendship

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Awards & Honors

2019 Blue Hen Award Winner, Middle Reader Graphic Novel
SLJ Best Books 2014, Middle Grade
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014, Middle-Grade Books
PW’s Best Books of 2014, Middle Grade
New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2014, Graphic Books
Winner, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, 2015
2015 Newbery Medal Honor Book
2015 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children, Honor Book
ALA Notable Books for Children 2015, All Ages
SLJ’s Top 10 Graphic Novels 2014
YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2015, Nonfiction
2014 Cybils Awards Winner, Graphic Novels for Elementary & Middle Grades
New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2014, Middle Grade
CBC Children’s Choice Book Awards 2015 Finalist, Debut Author
2015 Eisner Award, Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12)
Horn Book Fanfare List: Best Books of 2014, Nonfiction
ILA 2015 Children’s Choices, Young Readers
Los Angeles Public Library Best Books of 2014, Children’
Capitol Choices 2015

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, The Horn Book Magazine*, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
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 charac
[STARRED REVIEW]
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

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
At the age of four, in 1975, Bell contracted meningitis, leaving her severely to profoundly deaf. In this characterful, vivid, often amusing graphic-novel memoir she recaptures the experiences of her childhood—adapting to deafness, to others’ attitudes toward it, and to the technology of the Phonic Ear, a cum
[STARRED REVIEW]
At the age of four, in 1975, Bell contracted meningitis, leaving her severely to profoundly deaf. In this characterful, vivid, often amusing graphic-novel memoir she recaptures the experiences of her childhood—adapting to deafness, to others’ attitudes toward it, and to the technology of the Phonic Ear, a cumbersome assistive device. At the heart of her story is an experience relevant to most children: the finding of the “True Friend,” a falling out, and a reunion. Bell combines great humor and charm (her characters are all anthropomorphized bunnies) with emotional complexity and seriousness; her depiction of Cece’s valiant struggles with loneliness, irritation, and embarrassment at the way people treat her is moving, utterly convincing, and authentic—never “poor bunny.” Her forthright humor works especially well in conveying the practicalities of Cece’s mode of communication: “I sure can’t lip-read a butt!” she says, looking at a speaker’s back. This memoir is thus exceptionally informative and entertaining in relation to some aspects of deaf communication, but, most centrally and powerfully, it is exceptional for its perceptive, indomitable protagonist and complex story of friendship, growth, and classroom and family dynamics. deirdre f. baker

Book Details

ISBN

9781419710209

First Release

November 2014

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

809/.092

Trim Size

6" x 9"

Page Count

248

Accelerated Reader

Level 2.7; Points: 2;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.4; Points: 7;

Lexile

Level 420L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Amulet

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination: Disability

Topics

Graphic novels, Hearing impairment, Hearing aids, Elementary school, Friendship,

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