REVIEW | El Deafo

“And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”

This review works in conjunction with my review videos so make sure you watch them too! 


IMG_2400MY THOUGHTS

El Deafo is an autobiographical memoir written in the form of a graphic novel and aimed at a middle grade audience. It captures the challenges of being the only deaf child in a community, and the battle with the potential shame and embarrassment that a primary school child can feel at being an ‘outsider’ in such a way.

The storyline itself is very simple, it covers Cece as a four-year-old first starting school and wondering how she can make friends when she has to wear a hearing aid, and then explores some of the main challenges she had to face in finding friends and fitting in in her school community. The title ‘El Deafo’ comes from the superhero alter-ego she creates for herself in order to give herself strength and solace throughout her struggles. Throughout the novel she also slowly comes to terms with some of the strengths that her deafness gives her, rather than simply viewing it as an embarrassment and a disability.

Overall, the book is really sweet and cleverly made, the artwork is amazing, and the whole thing makes for an easy and yet informative read.


IMG_2400SPOILER FREE SUMMARY


IMG_2400KEY QUOTES

“And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”

“I am an expert on no one’s deafness but my own.”


IMG_2400DISCUSSION

How does this book use artwork to enhance the experience of being deaf and using a hearing aid?

What viewpoint do you think this book has on whether or not deafness should be defined as a disability?

What did you learn about how to be more inclusive or supportive of friends and acquaintances who are deaf?


IMG_2400MORE

The artwork of El Deafo

Interview with the author

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