Graphic Novel Review: El Deafo

Graphic Novel Review: El DeafoEl Deafo by Cece Bell
Published by Harry N. Abrams on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 248
Buy on Amazon

Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school--in the the teacher's the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it's just another way of feeling different... and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.


El Deafo is one of the best graphic novels I have read this year. This is a story based on the life of the author, Cece Bell, who grew up having to use a Sonic Ear to help her hear in school. There is a lot of humor in this book, along with many serious moments and a struggle to find a real friend. I cannot help but love Cece, who has her own moments where she is in the wrong. I think it will inspire kids to realize that even those other kids may seem different, they are just like them, with their own insecurities and wants for friendship. The drawings just add to the feel of the book, I love the choices she made in the book with different situations and how they looked in visual format.


An inspirational graphic novel that will pull readers in and leave them with who Cece really is.

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2 responses to “Graphic Novel Review: El Deafo

  1. This is the second review I’ve seen for this book that highly praises it! I love middle-grade graphic novels, especially ones that deal with difficult situations such as having a disability and then trying to fit in/form friendships, so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for El Deafo! 🙂 Great review!

  2. I’ve seen this around and our media specialist got a copy so I’ve been wondering how it was. Glad to hear you liked it! I’ll need to check it out.

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