El Deafo Extras: The Bell family looked a lot like the Addams Family back in the day…

22 Aug

El Deafo is about hearing loss, of course, but it’s also about my family. Here’s an early scene from the book:


Sarah, Dad, Ashley, me, and Mom (1975)

I based the pictures of me and my siblings on these photos from 1974 or so:





I must've been crying. Look at all that snot coming out of my nose!

Me. I must’ve been crying. Look at all that snot coming out of my nose!

We changed, as all kids do, with the passage of time. Somehow, the whole Bell family turned into the Addams Family. Here we are three years later. Cue some finger snaps! I think it’s safe to say that if this were the Munsters, Mom would be Marilyn, Lily’s “normal” niece. She looks great! It’s also safe to say that if Sarah saw this post, she’d be furious…


I don’t think you can see any hearing aid cords in the picture above. Pretty sure that was around the time that I got my first behind-the-ear hearing aids. An older neighbor girl came to our house before this picture was made and curled Sarah’s and my hair. Maybe she curled Ashley’s hair, too, bless him. And Dad? He’s thinking about something he shouldn’t be thinking about. Clearly.

So, today was a great day because BOTH Betsy Bird and Julie Danielson (they wrote an awesome book together called Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature ) posted very nice things about El Deafo. They are also the geniuses behind fuse#8 and Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Let’s call them family, too, just for today: two really, really nice younger sisters who decided to take their Big Sissy (doesn’t that sound horrible?) out for ice cream. Here’s Betsy’s post for SLJ, and here’s Julie’s post for Bookpage.

Here’s Julie and Betsy’s beautiful book. I am a proud older sister, indeed.


Thanks for reading! Only 12 days to go!

12 Responses to “El Deafo Extras: The Bell family looked a lot like the Addams Family back in the day…”

  1. madelynrosenberg August 22, 2014 at 1:42 am #

    Those pictures are FAB.

  2. Fuse #8 August 22, 2014 at 2:31 am #

    The crazy thing is that Jules and I managed to talk about El Deafo without knowing what the other person was up to. And for what it’s worth, I’d buy you ice cream any day of the week. Your book is the true star here.

    • Cece Bell August 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

      YOU are awesome, Betsy Bird! And every time I try to type your name, it comes up “Besty Bird.” Which I right like! Thanks again for the amazingly kind review!

  3. Margie Jackson August 22, 2014 at 2:48 am #

    Oh my gosh, that family photo is GREAT!  And you’re right, your dad clearly is thinking about something he shouldn’t be – like getting outta that photography studio, I think, and a little bit like the adorable little girl (YOU) might have just wet his leg.  But I know you were too old for that by then!   This is not supposed to be in italics but I can’t change it.  Sigh.  Anyway:   I can’t wait to see your book.  And for that matter, you and the whole family again, now that my California Adventure is over, or the part that involved exile, anyway.   Take care, and happy book sales! Love, Margie    

    • Mark Winbery August 22, 2014 at 3:07 am #

      Not in the picture: Cousin Tad (a.k.a. Cousin Itt….you should see his high school photos…).

    • Cece Bell August 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Glad CA adventure is over. Good gravy, that must’ve been difficult. Thanks for reading the blog!

  4. http://www.specialneedsmom.com August 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Hi Cece, I just read about El Deafo in the NYT. I would love to feature it on my blog. Shared on my Facebook page today also- at http://www.facebook.com/specialneedsmomcom . I see it is not available until Sept. 2, would it be possible to get a copy before? .

    • Cece Bell August 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      Hi there! Thanks so much for your note and for your interest in the book. Much appreciated. I’m sending you an email right now…

  5. praise November 23, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    Hi cece bell I loveeeeee your book el deafo it is amazing. I AM in b.o.b I hope to see you at the bob awards . My name is praise I am a girl and I go to otter creek school in Elgin IL.

  6. praise November 23, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

    Hi Cece bell I loveeeee your book el deafo . My name is praise and I am in B.O.B l hope to see you at the awards. I live in Elgin IL

    • Cece Bell November 30, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      Thanks so much for your nice note, Praise! And have fun with the B.O.B.–very cool. xoxo!

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