El Deafo is coming out soon! Mark your calendars for September 2nd, to be exact. In the meantime, I have had the pleasure of reading some very generous and kind early reviews. The book has even gotten a couple of stars, one from Publishers Weekly and the other from Kirkus. Our old friend Jerry Bee likes the buzz:
But Sock Monkey? You don’t even want to know how furious he is right now. He has never received a star, poor thing.
Anyway, here are some excerpts from some reviews; thanks to all who have read the book and taken the time to write a little something for it. Your interest in the book and the thoroughness of your reviews is much appreciated! (You can read the reviews in their entirety by clicking on the links. Not that you have to, but, hey. I like to be thorough!)
Bell shares her childhood experiences of being hearing impaired with warmth and sensitivity, exploiting the graphic format to amplify such details as misheard speech. Her whimsical color illustrations…clear explanations and Cece’s often funny adventures help make the memoir accessible and entertaining….Worthy of a superhero. (My first Kirkus star!)
From Publishers Weekly:
Bell’s earnest rabbit/human characters, her ability to capture her own sonic universe…and her invention of an alter ego—the cape-wearing El Deafo, who gets her through stressful encounters…all combine to make this a standout autobiography. (Another star!)
Bell’s bold and blocky full-color cartoons perfectly complement her childhood stores—she often struggles to fit in and sometimes experiences bullying, but the cheerful illustrations promise a sunny future. This empowering autobiographical story belongs right next to Raina Telgemeier‘s Smile and Liz Prince‘s Tomboy.
From Michigan’s (and the world’s) school librarian extraordinaire Travis Jonker (aka 100ScopeNotes):
In graphic novel El Deafo, Cece Bell presents these universal emotions from a perspective that is quite unique – that of a kid with a hearing impairment. A book that, I dare say, has never dealt with this experience so beautifully, honestly, and lovingly….Can I call it a triumph? It’s a triumph. And a one-of-a-kind. Consider El Deafo a must for your graphic novel collection.
(Travis also offered up this succinct blurb for the cover of the ARC: “Wow.” That may be better than any star in the universe.)
From K-8 Library Media Specialist from Minnesota (and best friend to the number 5 in all its manifestations) Laura Given:
I have only read the sampler (the first 50 pages), but reading the first 50 pages caused me to break into a run just to go tell someone how amazing it was. Put this one on your radar and set an alarm for September. It’s gonna be awesome!
(Laura also blurbed the book after she got to read the whole thing. Thanks, Laura!)
From Metro US:
This book is aimed at middle schoolers but its poignant story is one people of all ages will enjoy and can learn from.
(This review was extra-great because another person on Metro’s list of “best new releases” was none other than ROZ CHAST of New Yorker fame. She has been my favorite cartoonist there since I started reading my dad’s copies of the magazine when I was a kid.)
The illustrations are loving and playful and are the genius behind the book. Cece’s double talent of writing and illustrating bring her childhood experiences to life in ways that every reader can identify. I enjoyed seeing it as much as reading it and as a reader, I was cheering her on along the way.
(Teresa also included some good pics of the book’s interior in her review, along with some great Twitter exchanges.)
From first grade teacher and blogger Dylan Teut:
I know there are children out there who will see themselves in this book. Those who are different. Those who have ever lost a good friend to a misunderstanding. Those who have felt like the odd one out. But there are also children who will read this book, and it will be a window for them to see life from another point of view.
And my personal favorite from The Guardian, in which kids review books for kids:
This book is a graphic novel and I think its the best one I’ve ever read! If you are wondering what a graphic novel is it’s like a comic but really long. What I really loved is that this is a story of friendship and it reminds you that you should always be lovely to a new girl or boy at school.
(That kid-reviewer is awesome!)
If I left you out, my apologies. I couldn’t always figure out how to reach all of you for permission to post your reviews. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful to all of you. Thanks, too, to everyone who has sent me a more personal message about the book. I am so glad folks are enjoying it!
I’ll be posting a bunch more in the days leading up to September 2nd, so check back in if you like looking at old audiograms and notes to tired parents from frustrated speech therapists…