El Deafo Extras: Mrs. Lufton revealed! (Well, kinda.) Plus MINI BOOK TOUR only a week away! (DC area peeps, I’d love to see you!)

16 Sep

My very good friend Mary Crockett Hill (check out her YA novel DREAM BOY with Madelyn Rosenberg) also works at the historical museum in the town where I grew up. She put together a nifty exhibit for the book, and I thought I’d share some of the things she had on display.

Tonight’s Big Reveal is Mrs. Lufton, my first grade teacher. I erased her name from Mary’s display to protect her innocence, as she’s the one that I show USING THE BATHROOM. How rude. How very, very rude. Rest assured that she came to the book launch party and we talked about the fact that I show her USING THE BATHROOM in the book and guess what? She was totally cool with it. TOTALLY! What a great sport. Of course, I did change her name, so hopefully that made it better for “Mrs. Lufton.” Here’s the page Mary made, minus Mrs. Lufton’s real name:


Such nice memories. I have no recollection of sitting in her lap or of the Christmas plate. It’s funny how memory works…and proof again that the book is only my own memories, and they’re obviously quite faulty (and oftentimes unfair to others).

BUT I was pretty pleased with myself (to the point of  ridiculous smugness, you can ask Tom about this) when I saw how closely I got her hairstyle right. She really was beautiful, and still is:

Shelton Brown Duffy today

What an awesome teacher.


MINI BOOK TOUR COMING UP! (Because “mini” is all this travel-shy middle-aged lady can tolerate.) If you live in the DC/Northern VA area, check out these dates! I’d love to see you.

  • Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 23:

1:30 p.m.: DC Public Library event at the Palisades Branch

4:00 p.m.: DC Public Library event at the Georgetown Branch

  • Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 24:

10:30 a.m.: Book store visit at Politics & Prose

3:00 p.m. Book store visit with One More Page

I’ll be doing a bunch of school visits while I’m there, too.  It’ll be a wild time for sure.

Thanks for reading!


23 Responses to “El Deafo Extras: Mrs. Lufton revealed! (Well, kinda.) Plus MINI BOOK TOUR only a week away! (DC area peeps, I’d love to see you!)”

  1. Margie Jackson September 16, 2014 at 1:54 am #

    I’ll try to come see you in Arlington! Ordinarily I’m off on Wednesdays so this could really actually work out! I went to Barnes & Noble the other day just to see your book, and it is great… I can’t wait to get a chance to read it. I forgot to take my wallet in the other day, so I’ll buy it when I see you in Arlington :-). It’s a win-win!

    • Cece Bell September 16, 2014 at 1:57 am #

      🙂 The Power of positive thinking, eh? I’ll look for you!

  2. onesockonphotography September 16, 2014 at 2:18 am #

    Do you happen to know which schools? Any in Takoma Park, MD or Silver Spring MD?

    • Cece Bell September 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

      You know, I’m not sure! But if you contact Politics and Prose and/or One More Page, they might be able to tell you, since they are the ones setting up the school visits. I do know that I’ll be at the Washington School for Girls next Friday morning. Thanks for your interest!

  3. Ken Jones September 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    I am in Washington for business from time to time. If it is possible to arrange my schedule to be there next week, I’d love to thank you in person for the incomparable El Deafo and for all the joy you have given to my family through the years. The library events are recommended for ages 7-12, I assume that age bracket is an estimate and that the events would be appropriate for anyone whose chronological age is within, say, 50 years of that range. 🙂

    I know of no book in recent memory that accomplishes its mission better than El Deafo. I used to smile and say that about Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood. Your first SM book was filled with clever humor, surprise and sweetness, but demonstrated wonderful basic lessons about friendship, perseverance, overcoming fears, trust, envy, and success. In it, you handled all the key spheres of life other than romantic love. (But little SM wasn’t quite ready for that yet). But now El Deafo expands all those themes tremendously – in a most heartfelt and dramatic way. El Deafo really is a masterpiece. Congratulations!

    You are the best! (And we love Tom, too!)

    Your #1 admirer,


    • Cece Bell September 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      Ken Jones, you are awesomesauce AND an entire jar of Maraschino cherries! I would love to meet you LIVE and IN PERSON. Totally all ages allowed! I can’t thank you enough for the years and years of support you’ve given Tom and me. And I’m so glad you enjoyed the latest. My next picture book, however, has not a shred of dignity or meaning or anything redeemable at all. But it’s got lots of laffs! It’s the farthest thing on earth from El Deafo, that’s for sure. But you might just like it. Hope to see you very soon!

      • Ken Jones September 19, 2014 at 2:08 am #

        Your description of your next book is precious! Please do not be alarmed or concerned when you see a corporate-looking lawyer in a conservative suit at one of your Washington appearances.  My sock monkey tie will reveal my true friendly nature. I’m looking forward to it. The last time I had a comparable brush with greatness was when I shook hands with President Eisenhower in the first grade.  :-).  (To be clear, I meant when I was in the first grade, not Eisenhower!)

  4. Cece Bell September 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    I’ll look for the sock monkey tie for sure! Corporate-looking lawyers are more than welcome to attend. President Eisenhower? I LIKE IKE! I have a small collection of Ike campaign buttons because I really love that slogan so much. That’s so cool that you got to meet him. Would love to know the story behind THAT! Hope to see you soon!

  5. hamsterjp September 20, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Cece I have some questions!!
    1) why did your childhood friend throw up everytime she saw cece? In the book, I thought Cece passed on soemthing to her of soemthing. My friends and I are confused.
    2) can you check out my latest post(s) on my blog? I made some El Deafo art ^_^ Jesseniaorigami.wordpress,com
    3) I passed on the book to friends. We are in love with the book :3

    • Cece Bell September 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      Hi Jessenia! I heard that Tom got to see you on his trip. Hooray! Here are some responses to you:
      1) Some kids get VERY UPSET by certain things and then they throw up because they are so nervous and their stomach gets so crazy. Martha got upset when she saw me because she thought I was mad at her about my eye…but I wasn’t. She threw up anyway!
      2) I will look for the El Deafo art! Thanks for making it! Can I share it on my blog?
      3) Thanks for sharing the book with your friends. That is awesome of you to do. xoxox!

      • hamsterjp September 23, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

        Heh! Oh. That never happened to me before. Hmm. Oh yes you may share it on your blog!! Thank you so much !!!

    • Cece Bell September 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      Just saw the awesome poster you made! Thanks so much for that. WOW!!! I love that you based it off a different version of the cover. Super cool…in fact…STOOKY!

      • hamsterjp September 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

        😀 thanks!!! I made it better at school. Everyone wants to read it

  6. Katie September 23, 2014 at 3:32 am #

    My 8-year old daughter, Hannah, loves El Deafo! I have been printing bits of your website out and putting them in her lunch box everyday. She shares them with her friend, Hope. The other day we saw a little girl who looked like she may have had a cochlear implant. We were quietly very excited. Can’t wait for another update!

    • Cece Bell September 23, 2014 at 11:37 am #

      Hi Katie! Thanks so much for writing. I’m thrilled that Hannah loves the book. And how cool is it to end up in someone’s lunch box? Very cool indeed. I DO need to do up another post soon, don’t I? Right now I am on my way to DC to do some library, school, and bookstore visits. I’m excited. And nervous as heck. Please tell Hannah hi for me and thank her for reading the book, too. All the best to you! –Cece

  7. onesockonphotography September 23, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    See you tomorrow at Politics and Prose! Also, depending where you all are staying, let me know if you need any restaurant recs! (I will be the parental aged person with curly hair / pink streak in it!).

    • Cece Bell September 24, 2014 at 12:56 am #

      Oh hooray!!!! I look forward to meeting you tomorrow! One Sock On! Awesome!!!

      • onesockonphotography September 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

        SO AWESOME to meet you today in person! The kids are already reading El Deafo and love it!

      • Cece Bell September 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

        Jennifer! It was SO GREAT to meet you in person at last. I’ve got your address now so can send you a Sock Monkey holiday card when the time comes! And thanks for sharing the book with your kids. That means a lot. I love my long-time fans so much!

  8. onesockonphotography October 14, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Superfan here again! Just read the part of “El Deafo” when you send the Phonic Ear to Silver Spring, MD! We were freaking out (in a good way) as that’s where we live! 🙂
    I thought my kids heads might pop-off! They were like, NO WAY! Anyway, small world!

  9. Michele Modena December 9, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    We heard about El Deafo this morning, purchased it at lunchtime and I read it after dinner. Our 16 year old son was diagnosed with hearing loss due to LVAS when he was 3 and he starting wearing hearing aids in pre-school. His life since then has been “in the bubble” as you describe. He is not in the hearing world and he is not in the deaf world. Rather, much like yourself it seems, he struggles to find his place as he tries to figure out what everyone is saying all the time.

    Since Cian is an artist and grew up drawing cartoons, I had always hoped that he could tell his story in a graphic novel — a medium he has always loved. You beat him to it!

    Your story mirrors his in so many ways — hearing the teachers all over the school and telling us that he got an “FM” message during the school day when he heard something he knew he wasn’t supposed to be hearing; having to struggle in 8th grade when a bop on the head left him completely deaf in his right ear until he received his cochlear implant; tellling his teammates on his flag football team what offensive play the coach was calling since the coach forgot to turn the FM off on the sidelines. (He was the hero during that series of plays until the coach realized what was going on.)

    We are going to buy this book for all of his high school teachers and have it be required reading. We have had meetings witih all of his teachers every year and this book will tell them and show them what Cian goes through every day in a way that we, as his parents, can never quite communicate and what Cian, in his attempt to be perceived as “normal”, will never say.

    A long email (my apologies) of thanks to you for revealing the real experience of kids with hearing loss like our son in a way that is real, true, sad and hopeful.

    We live in Albany, CA, so if you are doing any book events on the West Coast, let us know.

    I look forward to the sequel of the next phase of your life — a middle school edition for Young Adults perhaps? I want to know that it can get better for him and that the bubble will burst at some point.

    Cheers to you.

    • Cece Bell December 10, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      Michelle, thank you for this beautiful note. I’m getting ready to email you now. Thank you again!


  1. Using Graphic Novels in Education: El Deafo | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund - June 12, 2015

    […] https://cecebell.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/el-deafo-extras-mrs-lufton-revealed-well-kinda-plus-mini-b… — “El Deafo Extras: Mrs. Lufton Revealed,” post from Ms. Bell’s El Deafo webpage […]

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