Saturday, January 5, 2019

Review: El Deafo by Cece Bell (Goodreads Author), David Lasky (Colorist )

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.

Paperback, 233 pages 
Published September 2nd 2014
 by Harry N. Abrams
****

Every year for Christmas this grandma buys each of the grandkids a book. I have lots of fun searching for the perfect book, which I will admit adds to my own tbr pile. My granddaughter Asha is 10 years old and loves graphic novels, that confused me because I don’t have much of a clue what’s good. The cover drew me to El Deafo and knowing she loved Wonder I thought this one would be a perfect fit. I watched her read this one Christmas Day and the next morning, then she gushed to her mom about how much she loved this book. What was I to do but grab the book, plunk myself down and read.

This is my first graphic novel, I’ve shied away from them because really how can a story be told with the depth that I love, will I be able to connect with the characters and get involved in the plot? Well I’m happy to report it can be done and it was done very nicely here. Also as far as I'm concerned this is a great way to get kids who might be intimidated with a regular book to read.

Cece is a likable character, she is funny at times but also struggling as she adjusts to her hearing loss. I will admit to not knowing anyone with hearing loss and reading this opened my eyes to the struggles, feeling of being different that Cece has to deal with.  Based on the author's own experiences it was a great read and something all ages could read.