English 341: It’s Like This

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El Deafo

El Deafo

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It was a great representation of how books can be enjoyable, inspiring and educational. The way that the pictures actually tell how Cece feels being deaf, and how she expresses that through her emotions, thoughts and her alto ego is really fabulous. There is also a way that the author explores boundaries and pushes toward subjects that might be harder to talk about, but are a great educational tool when done in a cleaver way.

This graphic novel is set in the late 70s when technology wasn’t as progressive as it is now, and people weren’t as excepting, or at least thats what Cece thought. Cece is a young girl who lived a normal life until she has meningitis and lost the ability to hear. She was fit with a very large and bulky device called a phonograph that allowed her to hear in school, due to the teacher wearing a microphone. However this large device made it hard for her to wear her favorite clothes. She also was self-conscious about the ear phones that were attached to the device. Furthermore it was hard for her to have friendships because she felt that everyone acted weird around her, because she was deaf. But she didn’t want to tell her friends that she found it annoying when they talked slower or annunciated certain words when talking to her. The other aspect of this book is that when Cece feels uncomfortable about a situation, or doesn’t like what she is going through she imagines herself as a super hero, El Deafo who is brave and strong and confident.

Basically this story has many underlying lessons, how to overcome a hardship and that accepting who you are is extremely important in order to have other relationships. I think this book would be a valuable tool to teach in the classroom. And it could be aimed at really any grade, the pictures allow younger students to figure out the story, and the topic and story can be one that any age can relate and be interested in. I also think this would be great to teach students about acceptance and how everyone has feelings.

One Reply to “El Deafo”

  1. I was really tempted to pick this book to read when we had to chose which books to read for the year. It sounds like this book really makes you think about what its like to hear what one with a disability of some sort has to say. This book can really make students think twice before they encounter someone who is deaf, for example. It sounds like a very interesting book and would love to read when i have some free time.

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