Friday, November 28, 2014

El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a graphic memoir for middle-grade readers, or anyone who enjoys a good memoir in an unusual format.

A 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.)

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