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Cover image for El Deafo
Format:
Title:
El Deafo
ISBN:
9781419710209

9781419712173

9780606361484

9781480668362

9781489844224
Publication:
New York, NY : Amulet Books, [2014]
Physical Description:
233 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm
Summary:
Starting a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest. At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends. Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in the school -- in the hallway ... in the teacher's lounge ... in the bathroom! This is power, maybe even superpower. Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, listener for all. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it's just another way of feeling different ... and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?
Reading Level:
Middle readers.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader MG 2.7 2.

Accelerated Reader AR 2.7 2.0 168404.

Reading Counts RC 3.4 7.0.

Accelerated Reader AR MG 2.7 2 168404.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Holds:

Available:*

Library
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Status
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J GRAPHIC 921 Bell, Cece 2014
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J GRAPHIC 921 Bell, Cece 2014
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J GRAPHIC 921 Bell, Cece 2014
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TEEN GRAPHIC 921 Bell, Cece 2014
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YA GRAPHIC - BELL
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J JGN - BELL
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TEEN BELL, C.
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Bell
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J GN 362.42 BELL 2014
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YA BELL
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J GRAPHIC BELL
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J GRAPHIC BELL
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TEEN GRAPHIC BELL
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JNF 741.5 BELL
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JGN BELL
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TEEN GRAPHIC 741.5 Bell 2014
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BELL
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On Order

Summary

Summary

New York Times Bestseller

A 2015 Newbery Honor Book 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.

PRAISE FOR EL DEAFO
STARRED REVIEWS
"A standout autobiography. Someone readers will enjoy getting to know."
-- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Worthy of a superhero."
-- Kirkus Reviews , starred review

"This empowering autobiographical story belongs right next to Raina Telgemeier's Smile (2011) and Liz Prince's Tomboy ."
-- Booklist


Author Notes

Cece Bell has written and illustrated several books for children, including the Geisel Honor book Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover . She lives in Virginia with her husband, author Tom Angleberger.
nbsp;


Reviews 6

School Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Gr 2-6-Cece loses her hearing from spinal meningitis, and takes readers through the arduous journey of learning to lip read and decipher the noise of her hearing aid, with the goal of finding a true friend. This warmly and humorously illustrated full-color graphic novel set in the suburban '70s has all the gripping characters and inflated melodrama of late childhood: a crush on a neighborhood boy, the bossy friend, the too-sensitive-to-her-Deafness friend, and the perfect friend, scared away. The characters are all rabbits. The antics of her hearing aid connected to a FM unit (an amplifier the teacher wears) are spectacularly funny. When Cece's teacher leaves the FM unit on, Cece hears everything: bathroom visits, even teacher lounge improprieties It is her superpower. She deems herself El Deafo! inspired in part by a bullied Deaf child featured in an Afterschool Special. Cece fearlessly fantasizes retaliations. Nevertheless, she rejects ASL because it makes visible what she is trying to hide. She ventures, "Who cares what everyone thinks!" But she does care. She loathes the designation "special," and wants to pass for hearing. Bell tells it all: the joy of removing her hearing aid in summer, the troubles watching the TV when the actor turns his back, and the agony of slumber party chats in the dark. Included is an honest and revealing afterword, which addresses the author's early decision not to learn ASL, her more mature appreciation for the language, and her adage that, "Our differences are our superpowers."- Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

A bout of childhood meningitis left Bell (Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover) deaf at age four, and she was prescribed a Phonic Ear, with a receiver draped across her chest and a remote microphone her teachers wore. Her graphic memoir records both the indignities of being a deaf child in a hearing community ("IS. THAT. AAAY. HEAR-ING. AAAID?") and its joys, as when she discovers that the microphone picks up every word her teacher says anywhere in the school. Bell's earnest rabbit/human characters, her ability to capture her own sonic universe ("eh sounz lah yur unnah wawah!"), and her invention of an alter ego-the cape-wearing El Deafo, who gets her through stressful encounters ("How can El Deafo free herself from the shackles of this weekly humiliation?" she asks as her mother drags her to another excruciating sign language class)-all combine to make this a standout autobiography. Cece's predilection for bursting into tears at the wrong time belies a gift for resilience that makes her someone readers will enjoy getting to know. Ages 8-12. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

At the age of four, in 1975, Bell contracted meningitis, leaving her severely to profoundly deaf. In this characterful, vivid, often amusing graphic-novel memoir she recaptures the experiences of her childhood -- adapting to deafness, to others' attitudes toward it, and to the technology of the Phonic Ear, a cumbersome assistive device. At the heart of her story is an experience relevant to most children: the finding of the "True Friend," a falling out, and a reunion. Bell combines great humor and charm (her characters are all anthropomorphized bunnies) with emotional complexity and seriousness; her depiction of Cece's valiant struggles with loneliness, irritation, and embarrassment at the way people treat her is moving, utterly convincing, and authentic -- never "poor bunny." Her forthright humor works especially well in conveying the practicalities of Cece's mode of communication: "I sure can't lip-read a butt!" she says, looking at a speaker's back. This memoir is thus exceptionally informative and entertaining in relation to some aspects of deaf communication, but, most centrally and powerfully, it is exceptional for its perceptive, indomitable protagonist and complex story of friendship, growth, and classroom and family dynamics. deirdre f. baker (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

A humorous and touching graphic memoir about finding friendship and growing up deaf. When Cece is 4 years old, she becomes "severely to profoundly" deaf after contracting meningitis. Though she is fitted with a hearing aid and learns to read lips, it's a challenging adjustment for her. After her family moves to a new town, Cece begins first grade at a school that doesn't have separate classes for the deaf. Her nifty new hearing aid, the Phonic Ear, allows her to hear her teacher clearly, even when her teacher is in another part of the school. Cece's new ability makes her feel like a superherojust call her "El Deafo"but the Phonic Ear is still hard to hide and uncomfortable to wear. Cece thinks, "Superheroes might be awesome, but they are also different. And being different feels a lot like being alone." Bell (Rabbit Robot: The Sleepover, 2012) shares her childhood experiences of being hearing impaired with warmth and sensitivity, exploiting the graphic format to amplify such details as misheard speech. Her whimsical color illustrations (all the human characters have rabbit ears and faces), clear explanations and Cece's often funny adventures help make the memoir accessible and entertaining. Readers will empathize with Cece as she tries to find friends who aren't bossy or inconsiderate, and they'll rejoice with her when she finally does. Worthy of a superhero. (author's note) (Graphic memoir. 8 up) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

When cartoonist Bell was four years old, a case of meningitis left her severely deaf. In this graphic memoir, she tells readers about the friends and family who help her adjust, the frustration she feels when learning to communicate, and the devices she uses to assist her hearing, most notably the Phonic Ear, a large machine that connects to a microphone her teachers wear and amplifies sounds in her hearing aids. Aside from making school easier, the Phonic Ear gives Bell a superpower: when her teachers forget to doff the microphone, she can still hear them anywhere in the school (including the bathroom!). She keeps her newfound superpower a secret and daydreams about being El Deafo, a super alter ego whose deafness makes her powerful. Bell's bold and blocky full-color cartoons perfectly complement her childhood stories she often struggles to fit in and sometimes experiences bullying, but the cheerful illustrations promise a sunny future. This empowering autobiographical story belongs right next to Raina Telgemeier's Smile (2011) and Liz Prince's Tomboy.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

IN THIS APPEALING graphic memoir by the children's book author and illustrator Cece Bell, young Cece is only 4 when she comes down with meningitis. She survives, but her hearing doesn't. At first, like any newly and suddenly deafened person, she retreats into herself, scared and confused ("I stay close to Mama, no matter where she is"). Her mother coaxes her into trying her new hearing aid, which has a box she wears on a strap around her neck. She looks in the mirror: "Hmmm. Not great ... but not bad, either. ... Those cords though." She hears much better but still has trouble understanding. Cece's friend asks her if she wants "shoes" (juice) or a "goat." Looking at the Coke bottle, she says, "I'll have the goat!" When she starts first grade in a mainstream school, she is given a "Phonic Ear." She can hear, very well, but it's the mid-1970s and the technology is clunky: The Phonic Ear is a big box Cece wears strapped to her chest, wires running from it up to her ears. Cece wears the receiver, and her teacher, Mrs. Lufton, wears a microphone and transmitter. Bell's full-page illustration of Cece wearing the Phonic Ear describes the elements of the device and also conveys Cece's wry, spunky sensibility. "Underside of Phonic Ear: Freeeezing cold in winter, hot and sweaty in summer; therefore, undershirt a MUST!" Toward the bottom of this self-portrait, an arrow points to: "Underpants! AVERT YOUR EYES!" Cece and all the otherwise human-seeming characters in "El Deafo" have rabbit ears (and rabbity noses), a witty visual metaphor for the outsize role ears play in the life of someone with hearing loss. Cece's life is full of the drama and trials of any schoolchild, but deafness complicates them, and she sometimes feels she exists in a bubble of loneliness. At a sleepover, when the girls turn out the lights, she loses the visual cues she needs to understand what her friends are talking about, and she calls her mother to take her home. Everything changes for the better when Cece discovers that her Phonic Ear gives her a superpower of sorts. Not only can she hear Mrs. Lufton in the classroom, but she can hear her in the teachers' lounge ("That Jimmy Malone is making my life hell! ") and even in the bathroom: "Tinkle tinkle," then "FLUSH!" "I have amazing abilities unknown to anyone!" Cece says to herself. She begins to think of herself as a superhero, El Deafo. At first she keeps her powers secret. But in fifth grade, she gains new popularity with her classmates when the Phonic Ear allows her to warn them that their teacher is approaching. Thanks to Cece they can quit goofing around before she enters the room. "For the first time ever," Cece announces, "El Deafo uses her superpowers for the good of others." In an author's note, Bell acknowledges that some deaf people embrace their deafness while others want to "fix" hearing loss. "They might think of their deafness as a difference, and they might, either secretly or openly, think of it as a disability, too." That's fair, and honest. It takes a bit of an inner superhero to get along as someone "special" in a classroom full of "normal" kids. Bell's book should be an inspiration for those who are "different," and it should help others to understand just what being different means. Required reading isn't always fun reading. "El Deafo" should be the first and is definitely the second. KATHERINE BOUTON is the author of "Shouting Won't Help," a memoir of adult-onset deafness.