El Deafo is the graphic novel memoir of author Cece Bell and what her childhood was like as a deaf person. All the characters in the book are portrayed as rabbits, perhaps because rabbits traditionally have excellent hearing. The story begins with the reason for Cece's hearing loss...meningitis at the age of four. A little later she is equipped with a large hearing aid called the Phonic Ear, which comes with a chest strap, head phones, and even a microphone for her teachers to wear. Cece cannot help but stand out as different! Despite bouts of embarrassment and humiliation, Cece learns to appreciate the Phonic Ear, not only for allowing her to hear the world around her again but also for giving her a super power. You see, as long as her teacher is wearing the micophone, Cece can hear her wherever she goes...in the hall, in the teacher's lounge, even in the bathroom! She imagines herself as the super hero El Deafo, Listener for All. Read Cece's story and find out is her super powers can grant her her greatest wish...a true friend.
I recommend this book for any students who enjoy graphic novels or memoirs, which are nonfiction accounts of real people's lives. Like Wonder and Out of My Mind, this book has the potential to change lives by changing attitudes.