El Deafo is a great book about a small girl, called Cece, who was really poorly with meningitis when she was little and she lost her hearing. Cece had to wear a hearing aid that was a box that had straps that she had to put her arms through. Coming out of the sides of the box were two wires that had earpieces on the ends that Cece had to put in her ears so that she could hear a bit better. Cece had to learn to lip read so she could understand what people were saying. At first, she didn’t want to wear them but then her friends thought it was cool and she felt more comfortable in wearing them. With her special hearing aid, she soon realised that she had super hearing – just like a super hero with super powers. She watched a TV programme with her siblings where someone called a person with a hearing aid “deafo” so she decided to turn into a superhero and named herself El Deafo. This helped her feel more confident about being deaf.
My favourite character is Martha because she is kind and didn’t mind about Cece’s hearing aids. She is a good friend because she cares about Cece. This is important to Cece because so many other kids didn’t care about her and just treated her like she was a toy.
The main message of this story is that it doesn’t matter if someone is different to you. You should still be kind to them. This is an important message because if you aren’t kind then they won’t want to be with other kids and will be lonely. Cece feels like she is in a whole different universe to everyone else in her life. When she meets Martha, she is glad to have someone who treats her like a normal kid.
The illustrations help the reader understand what it’s like for Cece and what everything looks like. The diagrams of the phonic ear show how uncomfortable and huge the phonic ear really. When explaining about things people can do to help her to hear better, Cece showed the reader the things they might think would help but really don’t. Graphic novels are different from other books because they have more pictures which makes it easier to understand. I enjoy graphic novels since they make it easier to see what is happening while still having lots of interesting content.
Children should read this book so that they understand what it’s like for children who have lost their hearing. It’s important for others to understand so if they meet someone like Cece they know how to speak to them and that it’s important to treat them like any other kid. I think that this is a great book for children and adults but it is mainly aimed at children in KS2.
My other favourite graphic novels are: When Stars are Scattered by Victoria James and Omar Mohammed, White Bird by R.J Palacio and Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy by Rey Terciero.
El Deafo is a brilliant book written by Cece herself. This book is an amazing way of the author telling her own story and helping other people understand what it was like for her growing up with hearing loss.
This story means a lot to me because it helps me realise what it’s like for kids without their hearing and how I can be a good friend.
El Deafo was originally published by Amulet Books in 2014 while the Superpowered Edition was published in October 2020.
Click on the cover or logo below to purchase this brilliant book from independent bookshop, Bear Hunt Books.