El Deafo

El Deafo

Book - 2014
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The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her "superpower."
"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"--from publisher's web site.
Publisher: New York : Amulet Books, 2014
ISBN: 9781419710209
Characteristics: 233 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Call Number: JGN BELL, C


From Library Staff

List - You've Got a Friend
DCLkids Jul 19, 2019

Making new friends isn't easy, especially when also dealing with hearing loss. Bell's graphic novel memoir recounts her experiences with both, noting that "our differences are our superpowers." Grades 2-6.

GeeksInTheLibrary Oct 17, 2017

The author's story of growing up with hearing loss, and her unique (one might even say "super") way of dealing with it. Good for anybody who loved Wonder by R. J. Palacio or who likes stories of kids overcoming difficulties to become even better.

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!
AR: 2.7
Lexile: 650
DRA 28

List - Epic Reads: May 2017
DCLkids Apr 19, 2017

Cece's Phonic Ear helps her to hear her teacher in class, and everywhere else! This might just be the superpower of El Deafo, Listener for All.

List - Latest Epic Reads
DCLkids Aug 23, 2016

Amazing comic book that is heartfelt and eye-opening. 4th Grade pick.

From the critics

Community Activity


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sarahbru17 Aug 14, 2019

Writing: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10
I loved this graphic novel. What a privilege to get this perspective on Cece Bell's deaf experience in such a fun, engaging manner. I loved that some of the conflicts derived from Cece's audio and visual difficulties, but many also derived from her relationships, so there was a balance throughout. The comic book style was cute, but still dynamic and relatable.

Jun 02, 2019

It is a really funny book specially for kids. I loved it hope you do too.

Apr 09, 2019

One of the best children's graphic novels of all time.

Feb 20, 2019

El Deafo is a very powerful and meaningful graphic memoir.

Nov 04, 2018

This graphic novel is the complete package. The book itself is beautifully colored and a pleasure to hold in your hands. Cece Bell's story is at times quirky, funny and emotional to read. I really loved it and the opportunity to grow in empathy for people who have varying degrees of deafness. The Author's Note at the end is also so informative and helpful. "Our differences are our superpowers." Thank you for that message, Cece!

Jul 21, 2018

This book showed how that new schools mean nothing and neither do hearing aids. It shows courage, bravery and fun. I would recommend this book to anyone.

Apr 30, 2018

In this charming, autobiographical, children's graphic novel Cece Bell illustrates her experiences as a child who lost her hearing due to illness at the age of four. Humorous, heartwarming and illuminating.

ArapahoeLaura Feb 07, 2018

A delightful autobiography of the author's childhood while dealing with hearing loss

Jan 02, 2018

This is SUCH a good book!:) I read it when I was about... Umm I would say 7 and now I'm ten. It was a a good feel book from when she found out she was deaf. Not saying I think deaf people make me happy but I just like from the deaf part on. It gave me a bit of the heeby jeebys at the very start but 3/4 of the book was awesome. Whoever has read this book or will is AWESOME!!!:) Great job Cece bell! [Cece bell is the author]

ArapahoeSarahD Nov 12, 2017

Growing up isn't always easy. Neither is moving to a new town or making new friends or trying to do all of that while dealing with sudden deafness. This brave little girl found her way by becoming her own hero.

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Add Age Suitability
Jul 23, 2019

FRIENDS118 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jun 07, 2017

navy_wildfowl_2 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

CorteMaderaStaff_Judi thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Nov 27, 2016

ehrenkranz thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

Feb 20, 2016

red_buffalo_255 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

Nov 13, 2015

Ishaaaaa thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and under

Aug 28, 2015

ginbubs thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

LookSeeTry Feb 15, 2015

LookSeeTry thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 10


Add a Summary
Nov 27, 2016

When the author Cece Bell was 4 yrs. old, she lost her hearing and became deaf. In this book, it shows Cece from Kindergarten all the way till 5th grade and about her loss of hearing, her friends, how she felt and much more! i think this is a wonderful book and it's worth reading.


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