During last weekend’s 24in48 Readathon, I had what I have…
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for. –Amazon
Wow! What a book. I read this book in less than 24 hours, which for me is pretty good! It is a graphic novel, so they are a quicker read. However, I don’t have a lot of reading time being a mother, so for me to finish something that quickly says a lot. I didn’t want to put this book down and I couldn’t wait for a moment to pick it up again.
Why was this book so good? It was the journey of El Deafo and her perseverance. I identified with her experiences, even though I did not have Meningitus, or go deaf, or have the same friendship problems (I did have my share of friendship woes though). I felt like I was there in her life and I felt her awkwardness and her struggles. I rooted for her to find a sidekick and a boyfriend. I wanted her to find a way to succeed in school.
I also loved that you could tell it was in a different time than the present, 70s or 80s I think, but that it wasn’t overdone. She made mention of artists, teachers leaving the classroom to smoke and have a break (I couldn’t imagine leaving my students for 20 minutes!! Can you imagine!?), the clothing, and the television shows. I think adults would love this book for those references-my students may not fully understand them all, but they could still enjoy the book.
I called this a “Mini Review” because I am not going to go in a lot of detail, and really this is my reflection. I am not really “reviewing” so much as telling you how I felt after reading. Maybe I need to call everything reflections?
I hope you enjoyed my “review” and I hope you choose this graphic novel as your next read.