This year's theme from Collaborative Summer Library Program is inspiring. Love the idea of using "hero's" as a way to entice children to read all summer long. Children love heroes of all shapes and sizes: super heroes, military heroes, mystery solving-heroes, knight in shining armor heroes and most of all everyday heroes. It is really hard to pick just one type of hero. Just as the theme suggest every hero has a story and to pick just one, well that as difficult as picking which ice cream is better the chocolate or double chocolate flavor. They are both wonderful. In honor of the theme and to get started on suggestions for books to read this summer, there is one title that has stood out as the "story" that should be on every middle schooler's reading list and to be honest, even on the adults list as well. El Deafo is a quick, delightful and eye opening graphic novel that explores the world of a hearing impaired hero who imagines that her hearing aids gives her super powers.
This heartfelt yet humorous memoir from Cece Bell will have readers cheering for a new super hero. One who does not have perfect hearing or perfect eyesight or even athletic abilities to leap tall buildings in a single bounce. El Deafo is the perfect superhero who wants what every middle schoolers wants, to be excepted for who they are and to fit. This type of book has been long over due for so many reasons. Bell's illustration on what is is like to face challenges of hearing impairment are spot on and clear. Everything from watching TV, to embarrassing sleep overs and bulky hearing aides, is dealt with a touch of humanity and warmth. This book is for every child -- deaf or hearing --- it will without a doubt show the possibility that anyone can be a hero. Some heroes need a little more help then others but given the opportunity they can and will "save" the day.
It is not a surprise that this book has already won numerous awards. Quite frankly, it should be the "poster" book for CLSP. Cece is a true hero and her story is worth becoming familiar with. Will readers find out about the next adventures of El Deafo? That would be wonderful! Here's to keeping the fingers crossed that there will be more stories about Cece and her true friend, Martha.
In the meantime, there are so many heroes to meet this summer! The list is long and there is not time to waste! . Not to mention the many hero crafts to do as well! Summer is just staring and Librarian at Large is just getting warmed up ! Stay tuned there is so much more reading fun to come!
(Blogger Note: As a child of the 70's and hearing impaired as well, many of the situations described in the memoir struck a cord of familiarity.)