Little girl, big hearing aid
Author-illustrator Cece Bell has been making picture books for more than 10 years. This year she’s trying something new, as she recounts her childhood experiences with hearing loss in the touching graphic memoir El Deafo.
In the 1970s, the Phonic Ear, a bulky hearing aid that strapped to the wearer’s chest, was in vogue. For the hearing aid to work properly, the teacher had to wear a microphone, which amplified classroom discussions. The young Bell struggled with standing out and fitting in, as many children do. But when her classmates discovered that she could hear her teacher as she roamed the building, Bell’s powers as El Deafo (as she dubbed herself) were revealed.
We snagged a bit of Bell’s time to ask her about her funny and moving memoir.