In a dusty coffee shop in Rome, the Italian version of the graphic novel “Black Hole” by Charles Burns caught my eye. Though I was unable to read the Italian words, I was hypnotized by Burns’ haunting illustrations. Since, I’ve been on the lookout for another great graphic novel and decided to try 2015 Newberry Honor Book “El Deafo” by Cece Bell.
This lighthearted, honest story of young, deaf Cece is both relatable and entertaining. Cece experiences permanent hearing loss after contracting a serious illness. As if navigating life as a young person isn’t challenging enough! Cece is concerned with making friends, pleasing her teachers, and speaking to cute boys, now she has to do it all with the phonic ear! Though Cece struggles with her loss of hearing, she learns to embrace her differences. Her greatest obstacle transforms into a crucial aspect of her identity. El Deafo is a witty and authentic memoir suggesting we reclaim our personal
flaws as superpowers.