Author and illustrator CeCe Bell (wife of author Tom Angleberger) is releasing an autobiographical graphic novel this fall about her experience growing up deaf in the 1970s. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book at the nErDcampMI conference this summer. Of all the ARCs I received, this was the one that made me giddy! I was halfway through it before the conference even started for the day.
This was great! It's also a story about childhood - crushes, social roller coasters, schools, etc. It's a friendship story. It's a family story. It's a story of being deaf - and all the well-meaning, clueless and mean responses of others. There's a great author's note about deaf culture and cautions about lumping her experiences into "all deaf people" stereotypes. There's a great "side story" about "El Deafo," Cece's alter-ego superhero figure pictured here on the cover.
I think a teacher with several students reading El Deafo could have some great discussions about relating to people who have different abilities and what it means to be a good friend.
4 out of 5 stars.
Match this one with Smile by Raina Telgemeier. Both could be used as mentor texts for visual story telling as well as autobiographical stories.
El Deafo should release on September 2, 2014.