Bell, C. (2014). El Deafo. NY: Abrams
El Deafo is the graphic novel that details the story of a young girl named Cece who gets sick and when she recovers she finds out that she has suffered major hearing loss. She is fitted with an amplifier so she can hear others, but it doesn’t seem to help her much. Much of the conversation is muffled and hard for her to understand. She begins learning to read lips to help her. When she goes to school, she tries to hide the amplifier under her clothes so other kids won’t ask questions or make fun of her. Her teacher also wears a microphone so she can hear better, but she often forgets to turn off the microphone when she leaves class to go to the teacher’s lounge or even the restroom. Cece realizes that she now has super powers like a special superhero “El Deafo”. She is just trying to fit in, but her hearing loss makes it difficult to find true friends that support her. She finally makes a true friend that understands her and sticks by her side through her struggles. I'm not usually a big fan of graphic novels, but I read this book quickly and really enjoyed it. Havinghurst describes developmental tasks that healthy individuals should be able to accomplish. When I think of this book, it reminds me of one task, Adolescents need to learn how to get along with peers. Friendships often develop, but then change as their interests or lives change. We see this happen in the book after Cece learns of her hearing loss. Her life changes and so do her relationships
This book is appropriate for ages 8-12.
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