Updated: Jun 26, 2021
Pick of the month: El Deafo by Cece Bell
El Deafo is a memoir written by Cece Bell, and its a funny, perceptive graphic novel that opens a window into a child who is growing up deaf. Cece started out as a normal kid, but upon being diagnosed with meningitis at age 4, her brain got swollen, and it resulted in her being severely deaf. Starting at a new school can be scary for anyone, even more so with a giant hearing aid! Even though it helps her here the teacher in areas all over the school, it also seems to repel future friends. Can Cece channel her powers into finding a true friend, the thing she wants most?
This book was very inspiring to me in two very important ways. Many kids were nice to Cece, but none of them were nice enough. They never teased her for her hearing aids, or laughed at her when she asked the teacher to repeat something, but they also never started a conversation with Cece, or invited her to to their house for a sleepover. This novel taught me that it’s not enough to be friendly, you have to be a friend. The one thing that Cece truly wanted was a best friend, someone that understood her, and saw past her deafness. It was hard for her to get that, because no one wanted to be “the deaf kid’s best friend.”
Another thing that El Deafo taught me was to look beyond a persons exterior. This is kind of like “Don’t judge a book by its cover” except for people. Cece was a kind, humorous girl who was toms of fun to be around, but a lot of people never got to know her, because they couldn’t look past the hearing aid. They had no idea that Cece was truly just another fun-loving girl. This could be applied to daily life anytime. People in wheelchairs, on crutches, or with canes are all human beings, and deserve to be known. We can be kind, and look past their appearance, and get to know them better.
This is just what I learned and understood while reading El Deafo by Cece Bell. Be sure to read this beautiful memoir to look into the life of a deaf child.