My last post featured brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, a coming-of-age memoir in verse. In this book, we learn that Woodson discovers that her “brilliance” is telling stories. We encounter a similar theme in a different memoir for young people that, like Woodson’s book, has earned many awards. A 2015 Newbery Honor Book, El Deafo by Cece Bell is often referred to as a “graphic novel” in consumer reviews. It is, however, a graphic memoir--non-fiction.
When Bell becomes deaf at an early age, she must learn to cope not only with her deafness, but others’ reactions to it. Making true friends is hard, and teasing and bullying sadden, anger, and frustrate her until she takes a bully’s name for her, “El Deafo,” and embraces it as her superpower. What a great way to turn something intended as bad into something good!
You’ll have to read the book to find out how that works out. Read my young friend Haley's review to whet your appetite:
“This touching graphic novel uses bunnies as characters to show how the main character (Cece) is deaf. This was very clever to help express how different she feels. This story not only tells about how she learns to deal with her disability but also how she goes through elementary school. She has the same friend problems as any elementary kid! But she handles them by going into her own creative world where she helps others. El Deafo has its ups and downs but you'll want to read it to the end!” ~ Haley, 8th grade
If you aren't sure what your superpower is, see what kinds of programs your public library offers this summer and get your whole family involved. Some libraries across the country are using the theme of heroes and superheroes. Maybe participating will help you find your superpower!