The cover of El Deafo by Cece Bell.
Title: El Deafo
Author(s): Cece Bell
Artist(s): Cece Bell
Category: Autobiographical
Languages: English, French
Grade Level(s): 4-8
Mature Content?: N/A


El Deafo is Cece Bell’s autobiography. At age 4, Bell got meningitis, leaving her suddenly deaf.  In order to integrate her into a classroom, the school adopted a special system that integrated with her hearing aids. Bell felt as though she had super powers and takes on the moniker “El Deafo.” As bell navigates her childhood, she examines friendship, being different, and what it means to be one’s self.

Teaching Points:

El Deafo provides ample opportunities to discuss ableism and difference. At one point, Bell writes, “our differences are our superpowers.” This quote alone can be an excellent place to begin lessons on self-awareness and differing ability. Additionally, Bell’s website provides several resources giving a look into the making of El Deafo, which are extremely useful when planning mixed media units or personal narrative units. El Deafo’s popularity and success make it one of the most heavily supported books on this site. There are numerous resources not included here.

Related Resources/Lesson Plans:

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