Books · Children's

El Deafo by Cece Bell

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.


I only received a sample of this graphic novel and it was the best sample I have ever received. I have never wished for a full copy more, and I plan on buying the finished physical copy.

“El Deafo” is the nickname author Cece gave herself as a child. She became ill with meningitis and as a result lost her hearing. The story tells about how she became deaf, getting hearings aids, learning to lip read, and more. The book is very descriptive and very in-depth with the pictures as well.

I can relate personally to the story since I, myself am hard of hearing and I am part of the deaf community.

The author’s note in the back is perfect. The book is her stories and is not a representation of all deaf people or the deaf community. I have heard plenty of stories from some of my friends that are similar to that which I read in this excerpt. I look forward to the full length novel.


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