Bell, C. (2014). El Deafo. NY: Abrams.
In graphic novel form, Cece Bell tells the story of a young girl in the guise of a cute rabbit who is growing up with a severe hearing impairment. She does a great job tackling the subject with humor and pathos, letting us see the world through the narrator’s eyes (and hear through her super Phonic Ear). Along the way, we meet pushy friends, clueless peers, helpful teachers, not-so-helpful siblings, and a whole cast of other characters that any kid can relate to. After sharing her superpower of hearing the teacher from anywhere in the building, Cece becomes a true hero! A great novel for raising awareness and promoting understanding, because not everyone hears the world the same way, whether we have a super-powerful Phonic Ear or not! I would recommend this book to 5th – 8th graders.