Memphis Reads – El Deafo by Cece Bell

Staff Book Reviews

Library staff members attend Reader’s Advisory classes throughout the year to learn the characteristics of different book genres. By developing their reader’s advisory skills, library staff help customers find books they may like to read.

After each session, participants select a book from that genre to read and profile. Take a look at the Reader’s Advisory Annotations posted on Memphis Reads to discover what you can read next.

Allison reviews EL DEAFO by Cece Bell (Amulet Books, 2014)

El Deafo is a graphic novel memoir by Cece Bell. Using bright illustrations, Bell tells the story of the illness that caused her to lose her hearing at a young age, and how she coped with being different from everyone else. Bell used her bulky hearing aid, also known as her Phonic Ear, to transform into her superhero alter ego, El Deafo! She deals with learning to use a complicated hearing aid, as well as how this visible disability isolates her from her classmates.

Bell uses the graphic novel format to her advantage; the illustrations move the action along and really make her autobiography enticing. The panels read left to right, top to bottom, so it’s a great book to serve as an introduction to graphic novels. The book’s target audience is ages 8-12, but everyone can relate to the story of adaptation and acceptance.

Allison R., Staff member