When Cece Bell was four years old she developed meningitis. She recovered but soon realized she could no longer hear. El Deafo is Bell's autobiographical account of growing up deaf. With endearing bunny characters and a clever graphic novel format, Bell tells a powerful story about friendship and the struggle for acceptance.
Cece struggles to fit in and describes the loneliness of what she calls 'living in a bubble.' Attempts at friendship are difficult and often end in disappointment and sadness. It is only when Cece accepts herself and shares her experience with others that she reveals her inner superhero, El Deafo.
When I ordered this book for my school library, I was skeptical about how many kids would actually read it. They love graphic novels, but would they be put off by a more serious topic? I brought it home with amazing success. Both my third and first grader read it twice and my seventh grader enjoyed it as well. It paved the way for wonderful family discussions and I can't wait to introduce it in the library.