El Deafo by Cece Bell is a graphic memoir for middle-grade readers, or anyone who enjoys a good memoir in an unusual format.
bout with meningitis at the age of four left Cece with severe hearing
loss. This makes navigating school a little rough, especially since she
has to wear the Phonic Ear, a large hearing aid that straps onto her
chest and communicates with a microphone worn by her teachers. Cece soon
learns that this device gives her special powers, practically
superpowers: she can hear what the teacher is saying in the classroom,
out in the hallway, in the staff room . . . even in the bathroom! Will
she use her powers for good? Can they help her get the attention of the
boy she has a crush on?
This is an impressive memoir: it does a
great job of showing the reader what it was like for Cece to grow up
with a hearing impairment, it touches on universal childhood concerns
like making friends, dealing with siblings, and having a first crush,
and it's entertaining. I feel like I learned a lot from Cece's
experiences, and I will certainly recommend it to both kids and adults.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)