This weekend, I dove into another of next year’s South Carolina Children’s Book Award nominees, El Deafo by Cece Bell. (It’s also the April book for my faculty book club…which meets this week.) It was wonderful, and I look forward to talking to both students and colleagues about it.
To my knowledge, El Deafo is the first graphic novel to ever make it to the SCCBA list, and I’m hoping that it will encourage many educators–some of whom don’t consider comic books and graphic novels to be “real” books–to really embrace these types of books and use them in their classrooms.
Not only is El Deafo a graphic novel, it is also a memoir. It truly is Cece Bell’s story. This story–which depicts young Cece as a rabbit–tells of how she lost her hearing and adapted to the world around her. It shows her difficulties fitting in as well as her triumphs. It’s hilarious at times and heart-breaking at others, and anyone who sees himself/herself as different will relate to Cece in some way.
But you don’t really need me to tell you about this book. Let’s hear from the author herself…
I think El Deafo is a great book for introducing a variety of concepts. Some of those may include:
- telling stories in a variety of formats
- exploring the relationships between art and writing
- accepting/celebrating differences; tolerance
- handling conflict
In short, El Deafo is an awesome book, and I’m thrilled it made it onto the 16-17 SCCBA nominee list!