Review Detail

Kids Nonfiction 97
Now With Extra Background Information!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
This graphic novel memoir chronicles the author's experiences with hearing loss. After a childhood bout with meningitis at age 4, Ms. Bell had limited hearing and was taught to lip read. She had a variety of hearing aides, some which worked better than others, and a variety of friends, some of whom had issues with her hearing loss and some of whom just had issues. When things get difficult, Bell occasionally would fantasize that she was the super hero El Deafo, and there are dream sequences about what she wishes she could do. At one point, her mother wants her to take a sign language class, but having relied on lip reading, Bell is not thrilled with this idea. This follows the main character up through middle school, deals with a crush on a cute boy, and is generally a great, realistic picture of how one person went through early school years with a hearing loss.
Good Points
There are very few characters in middle grade books with hearing loss, so the details of what Bell experienced were interesting. I especially appreciated the after note where she said that this was a chronicle of just HER experience, and that there are so many different ways to deal with this. I have one student who is a huge reader has a sign language interpreter; I asked her if she would like the book and explained that while it was about a girl with a hearing loss, she doesn't use sign language. My reader was still thrilled to see the book, and is looking forward to the full color version. This will be popular with readers who like graphic novels, but is an interesting story even without the pictures. The friend and boy drama are squarely middle grade and are as important as Bell's dealings with her issues of being different.

Bell is clearly about my age, given the cultural references, so it might have been helpful to have a year mentioned, so that readers would have an idea that the technology of hearing aids might have changed a bit. My cousin had a device similar to Bell's Sonic Ear, and it was a very large device; even my reader says that before she got an implant, she had a unit that was rather cumbersome. The additional information in the Superpowered edition helps a bit. There are more pictures of Bell as a child, and some pictures of her report cards as well!

The notes on the creative process are interesting; there are preliminary sketches, and notes on how graphic novels are produced. While I knew that lots of books mention "colorists" I hadn't quite grasped that another person created the palette for the book, working closely with Bell, of course. I loved the mix of photos of places and people that came into play in the book and the details of how she works through bringing a story to life from written ideas to a finished and colorized graphic novel. Even if you've read the original 2014 book, it's a treat to pick up this "new and improved" version!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Bluebird
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for...
Merci Suárez Can't Dance
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventh grade is going to be a real trial...
When You Know What I Know
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This harrowing, and ultimately hopeful novel in verse sensitively...
Between Perfect and Real
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding...
The Cost of Knowing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End...
Gold Spun
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
If Nor can't spin gold, she can always spin...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic...
Small Favors
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ellerie Downing is waiting for something to happen. Life...
If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey through a magical woodland, with poems to read and...
Bunny Will Not Jump!: Ready-to-Read Level 1
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the endless imagination of Jason Tharp comes a hilarious...
Milo's Christmas Parade
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A new picture book from Jennie Palmer starring Milo, a...
Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Slow down to watch 50 nature stories that command calm...
Once Upon A Pizza: Eight Crazy Ways Pizza Wasn't Really Invented, And One It Might Have Been
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everyone loves pizza, but how was it invented? ...
A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Help young fans get in touch with their inner geeks...
Awaken    Book 1 The A'vean Chronicles
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
SOME PEOPLE AREN'T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY. With a...
Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Underdogs, unite! Celebrated nonfiction author Melissa Stewart offers young readers...

Latest Member Reviews

Mine
 
4.0
"Lily isn’t thrilled about her family’s move from Colorado to Florida. In Colorado, she had her drama club and her..."
Spectacle
 
3.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Nathalie Baudin is an extraordinary girl even before she discovers her psychometric abilities. She’s just sixteen,..."
The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, 2)
 
5.0
"What I Loved: THE HAWTHORNE LEGACY, a sequel to THE INHERITANCE GAMES, is a book full of intrigue and mystery..."
The Secret Starling
 
3.5
"Clara Starling is used to the drudgery of life with her uncle in his huge mansion. It’s all routine, cold..."
The Stitchers
 
4.0
"Quinn’s neighborhood is mostly normal, until you look at Goodie Lane. The residents of Goodie Lane have lived there for..."
Batman: Overdrive
 
4.0
"Batman Overdrive by Shea Fontana is a re-imagining of Batman’s origins. A young, pre-Batman Bruce Wayne is at the beginning..."
Curse of the Specter Queen
 
3.7
"CURSE OF THE SPECTER QUEEN was an intriguing YA historical fiction with code-breaking, good friends, and imminent danger. Sam works..."
The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
 
4.0
"Mars Patel idolizes Oliver Pruitt, a powerful tech giant who also runs Pruitt Prep. Mars and his friends Toothpick, JP,..."
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
"THE BOX IN THE WOODS is a fantastic continuation of Stevie's story with a whole new cold case to solve...."
Bear Bottom (Fun Jungle #7)
 
5.0
"Teddy and his family, along with Summer and her family, head off to Yellowstone Park. J.J.McCracken is interested in buying..."
Weird Kid
 
5.0
"Jake Wind is finding middle school a challenge: his dad is a proctologist who can't stop making butt jokes, and..."
Golden Gate (City Spies #2)
 
5.0
"After a mission aboard a ship that ends with Sydney blowing things up and Brooklyn saving the daughters of a..."
The Stitchers
 
5.0
"Quinn Parker lives on Goodie Lane in a small Connecticut town with her mother and her older, arthritic dog,..."
The Secret Starling
 
4.0
"It's 1974, and Clara is being raised in a decrepit, remote country mansion by a stern and uncaring uncle because..."
Curse of the Specter Queen
 
4.7
"Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke is Indiana Jones meets The Mummy (1999) and encompasses everything I..."
Shark Summer
 
4.0
"In this graphic novel, we meet Gayle, who has moved to Martha's Vineyard from Boston so that her mother can..."
Duckscares: The Nightmare Formula
 
5.0
"I don’t know who enjoyed this book more: my son or me! The Nightmare Formula by Tommy Greenwald is the..."
City Spies (City Spies #1)
 
5.0
"Sara is a hacker who managed to break into the foster care computer system to report her troublesome foster parents;..."
Rescue at Lake Wild
 
5.0
"Madi and her friends Aaron and Jack live in Willow Grove, a small town where they are able to go..."
Jackaby
 
4.7
"This book was a pleasant surprise. Jackaby by William Ritter is the first in the series by the same name...."