El Deafo by Cece Bell

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I loved El Deafo! It was an adorable look into something tough. The book starts out with a 4-year-old bunny getting a spinal tap and finding out she has meningitis (OMG). 😥 But what follows that is something so inspiring and funny, as a reader I trusted Cece and knew that I wouldn’t be heartbroken or disappointed.

This graphic novel follows Cece, the author, throughout her elementary years. Cece transforms into El Deafo in her mind, but in real life something embarrassing is usually happening. Cece tries to find a best friend, but Martha, the best candidate, is scared that she will hurt Cece and possible make her blind when she is already deaf. What sweet bunnies!

This is a unique book that I don’t think I will find again. I loved that it was based on the author’s own experiences, rather than what a hearing person thinks a deaf person lives through. I especially loved the way that we get to “hear” what Cece hears with and without her hearing aid! El Deafo offers a unique perspective on hearing loss that is funny and sweet.

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In the end, friendship prevails and El Deafo finds her sidekick ❤

My Reading Journey

 

Hello. I started this blog to talk about what I read. Lately, I’m reading a lot middle grade fiction! I should start backwards. I first learned to read in Chinese and I don’t remember if I was an avid reader when I was a kid. There were some books at home that I liked to look through but I never sat down by myself and finished a book cover to cover. I guess I didn’t have the patience or imagination hehe.

When I was 10 I started learning and speaking English. My mom would take my sister, brother and I to the library where I checked out fun series like Boxcar Children, Magic Treehouse, Junie B. Jones, Nancy Drew, etc. I didn’t totally understand them but it was fun enough that I kept going back. I did see Newbery Award winners and “novels” on the shelves but never thought I would read them, since I was still in ELD. I loved the American Girl series with all the dolls, historical background, and illustrations! There was a brief period when I was obsessed with everything Harry Potter. When I was in 7th/8th grade I volunteered at the library during the summer and it was fun! Clearly I was super nerdy and a library gal.

Then, high school started. I was so obsessed with doing well in Honors and AP English classes. This was good because I think it brought my reading and writing to a higher level. However, I still struggled with the novels we were assigned. As an English learner it took huge amounts of effort to get through something like Wuthering Heights and House of Mirth. To be honest I probably still wouldn’t understand it today! I shelved books at the library and loved volunteering there. That didn’t change. However I hardly read for fun in high school. (I don’t think I read a single novel outside of school.)

After that was college and the adult life!!! Again, I didn’t read for fun in college due to the huge amounts of reading for class. However, during one internship I had a young supervisor who would read a book during lunchtime. I just thought she looked so chic reading a book on her break! By then, as a 22-year-old, I never saw anyone read for fun. I did know a few English majors and thought it was cool that they studied something different. It sounds so fancy to say that you study “literature” or “Shakespeare,” hee. I admired girls who read a lot but couldn’t get myself to do it. I followed the bandwagon to read Hunger Games on Kindle but that was it.

After college I had a really hard time finding a job and I was frustrated. With all the free time I thought I should read. But after years of not reading for pleasure, I had no idea what I even wanted to read. I just looked through old books at home, like the classics and assigned books from HS. You can imagine that I didn’t get through them and they were no fun. When I started working full time I definitely did not have the time, focus, or energy to read either.

(Wow, there have been so many chapters of my life already!) About 3 years ago I decided to go back to school to become a teacher. This is when I sort of started getting back into reading for fun. I had a student teaching teaching placement in a 6th grade English class. The teacher assigned them to read 20 minutes everyday. I thought it was so cool and started seeing the value in it right away. I got to know students by them telling me about what they’re reading. I became familiar with books like Wonder, Fish in a Tree, Princess Academy, and Rump. Many of the titles I’m reading now come from what the kids were reading. Now I see this was a huge turning point in my reading journey.

After that, I became a teacher and had a super rough first year of teaching 😦 . It got to a point when I had to take leave from work  in May 2017. All of a sudden, all the time in the world was mine. I decided to fill it with reading. I went to the library every couple of days and checked out 2 books each time. I would finish them quickly then go back for more. In the past 2 months I’ve read 30 some books! I don’t plan to stop because I love it so much. This is my reading journey and I want to remember the books I read when I’m 80, ha. So I will write about them here and hope some find it interesting!