Sunday, January 4, 2015

El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo is a charming graphic novel based on comics artist Cece Bell's own childhood experiences of becoming profoundly deaf after an illness when she was four. In Bell's full colour art, humans are depicted in an animorphic style with pink triangular noses and large, rabbit-like ears.

It's the 1970s and Cece attends school with wires in her ears that are connected to an enormous phonic contraption strapped to her chest. Her teachers wear a corresponding microphone that amplifies sound so well that Cece can hear what's going on wherever the teacher happens to be... like the staff lounge... or the bathroom. It's like having a super power!

Humour and Cece's sweet, indomitable spirit balance the challenges that she faces growing up with a disability. For readers of all ages, from Grade 3 to adults.

Readalikes: Smile (Raina Telgemeier); and Ariol (Emmanuel Guibert).

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