Book review: El Deafo #bookaday

El Deafo coverby Cece Bell
Graphic novel
Newbery Honor: 2015
Interest level: grades 3-6
Reading level: 3.3
5 out of 5 stars

In EL DEAFO, Cece Bell shares her story of growing up after losing her hearing at the age of 4. She shares her thoughts, feelings, and struggles to make friends, and to find her place in her school and neighborhood communities. This book is so honest and respectful about the struggles and misunderstandings that plague childhood friendships.

Besides the wonderful, rich content, this book stands out as a spectacular example of a strong graphic novel. Bell’s illustrations are cute and accessible, yet professionally rendered and sequenced. Sometimes dream sequences or changes in time are confusing in graphic novels, but in EL DEAFO they are clearly defined and easy to distinguish.

My copy of this book has been very popular with 5th-graders, who pass it from friend to friend. EL DEAFO is one of those books, like WONDER, that can open your eyes to the experiences of people with special needs. I wish everyone would read this book!

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