El deafo

Cece Bell

Book - 2014

The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her "superpower."

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Subjects
Genres
Graphic novels
Published
New York : Amulet Books 2014.
Language
English
Item Description
Chiefly illustrations.
Physical Description
233 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781419710209
1419710206
9781419712173
1419712179
Main Author
Cece Bell (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

When cartoonist Bell was four years old, a case of meningitis left her severely deaf. In this graphic memoir, she tells readers about the friends and family who help her adjust, the frustration she feels when learning to communicate, and the devices she uses to assist her hearing, most notably the Phonic Ear, a large machine that connects to a microphone her teachers wear and amplifies sounds in her hearing aids. Aside from making school easier, the Phonic Ear gives Bell a superpower: when her teachers forget to doff the microphone, she can still hear them anywhere in the school (including the bathroom!). She keeps her newfound superpower a secret and daydreams about being El Deafo, a super alter ego whose deafness makes her powerful. Bell's bold and blocky full-color cartoons perfectly complement her childhood stories—she often struggles to fit in and sometimes experiences bullying, but the cheerful illustrations promise a sunny future. This empowering autobiographical story belongs right next to Raina Telgemeier's Smile (2011) and Liz Prince's Tomboy. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

A bout of childhood meningitis left Bell (Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover) deaf at age four, and she was prescribed a Phonic Ear, with a receiver draped across her chest and a remote microphone her teachers wore. Her graphic memoir records both the indignities of being a deaf child in a hearing community ("IS. THAT. AAAY. HEAR-ING. AAAID?") and its joys, as when she discovers that the microphone picks up every word her teacher says anywhere in the school. Bell's earnest rabbit/human characters, her ability to capture her own sonic universe ("eh sounz lah yur unnah wawah!"), and her invention of an alter ego—the cape-wearing El Deafo, who gets her through stressful encounters ("How can El Deafo free herself from the shackles of this weekly humiliation?" she asks as her mother drags her to another excruciating sign language class)—all combine to make this a standout autobiography. Cece's predilection for bursting into tears at the wrong time belies a gift for resilience that makes her someone readers will enjoy getting to know. Ages 8–12. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 2–6—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 [Page 175]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A poignant graphic tale based on the creator's own experiences with hearing loss follows the adventures of young Cece, who develops "superpowers" to manage the challenges of making friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid that sometimes lets her hear things she shouldn't. By the Geisel Honor-winning creator of Rabbit & Robot. Simultaneous.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The beloved #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor winning graphic novel memoir from Cece Bell   Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here, she's different. She's sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.   Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the school'in the hallway . . . in the teacher's lounge . . . in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it's just another way of feeling different . . . and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?   Also Available: El Deafo: Superpowered Edition! Get a special hardcover collector's edition of Cece Bell's beloved graphic novel with 40 bonus pages of childhood photographs, early sketches, notes from Cece, and much more!    

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The beloved #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor winning graphic novel memoir from Cece Bell   Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here, she's different. She's sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.   Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the school'in the hallway . . . in the teacher's lounge . . . in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it's just another way of feeling different . . . and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?   Also Available: El Deafo: Superpowered Edition! Get a special hardcover collector's edition of Cece Bell's beloved graphic novel with 40 bonus pages of childhood photographs, early sketches, notes from Cece, and much more!