Sunday, May 31, 2015

El Deafo

I feel like I have been waiting forever to read Cece Bell's graphic novel memoir, El Deafo. I even added it to our recommended summer reading list without reading it, which isn't usually a good idea, but in this case, it worked out. I loved this book.

Bell's deafness resulted from an illness when she was four years old; being preliterate ruled out writing to communicate. Eventually, she gets the Phonic Ear, a large device that helps her hear. When her teacher wears the microphone, Cece can hear what she says, anywhere in the school. This "superpower" inspires her alter ego, El Deafo, into acting braver than Cece really is.

I loved reading about a person with hearing loss, but think that my students will relate to Cece's struggles to fit in, which mirror their own experiences. On the cover is a blurb by Wonder author R. J. Palacio...it's fitting because these two books are great complements. Readers who loved Wonder will also enjoy El Deafo. I have a big crew of male graphic novel readers in my class. It will be interesting to see if they embrace this novel as they have so many others. I plan on book talking this on Monday morning.

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