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  1. #1
    twowhat? is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default El Deafo - book rec for elementary aged kids

    My girls came home with their own copies of this (yay for their summer camp program!) and dove right in. DD2 (6.5 years but reads on much higher level) has been soaking it up and DD1 (reads at her age level) has been soaking it up too (when it's read aloud to her) because it is written comic book style.

    We've been reading them separately with each of the girls so they can move at their own pace. I'm impressed by how much my DD2 actually understood from reading it on her own (she even explained some parts to me that I didn't catch at first!).

    It is an autobiography, written from the POV of a little girl who loses her hearing due to spinal meningitis. It's really eye-opening to me and a sweet, powerful story. The author does an amazing job with the illustrations and word art to convey different things. Lots of thought bubbles vs speech bubbles.

    We're only about 1/4 way through it but I can tell it will soon hit upon some more "serious" issues so if you're sensitive to that, you may want to read it first so you can be prepared to answer questions. And we did come across the word "hell" (stuff like that doesn't bother me, I just explain it to the girls). So far I'm blown away - what an amazing book!!

  2. #2
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    That book was a huge hit in our house! My 11 year old DD and my 9 year old DS both loved it!
    Green Tea, mom to three

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowhat? View Post
    My girls came home with their own copies of this (yay for their summer camp program!) and dove right in. DD2 (6.5 years but reads on much higher level) has been soaking it up and DD1 (reads at her age level) has been soaking it up too (when it's read aloud to her) because it is written comic book style.

    We've been reading them separately with each of the girls so they can move at their own pace. I'm impressed by how much my DD2 actually understood from reading it on her own (she even explained some parts to me that I didn't catch at first!).

    It is an autobiography, written from the POV of a little girl who loses her hearing due to spinal meningitis. It's really eye-opening to me and a sweet, powerful story. The author does an amazing job with the illustrations and word art to convey different things. Lots of thought bubbles vs speech bubbles.

    We're only about 1/4 way through it but I can tell it will soon hit upon some more "serious" issues so if you're sensitive to that, you may want to read it first so you can be prepared to answer questions. And we did come across the word "hell" (stuff like that doesn't bother me, I just explain it to the girls). So far I'm blown away - what an amazing book!!
    Is it a book that's appropriate for a 4 year old? I've been on the lookout for books written about deafness, and prefer books written by authors who have had personal experience with it. DS1 is at the point where he is *just* understanding being deaf means for him.
    Mummy to DS1-6/11 and DS2-1/14

  4. #4
    twowhat? is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualvansMommy View Post
    Is it a book that's appropriate for a 4 year old? I've been on the lookout for books written about deafness, and prefer books written by authors who have had personal experience with it. DS1 is at the point where he is *just* understanding being deaf means for him.
    It probably depends on the 4yo but my girls probably would've had trouble following at 4 years old. I think 6 or 7+ is a good age for this book but maybe Green Tea can chime in as well. It's a relatively new book so I had heard nothing about it until the girls brought it home.

    I do think you could work your way slowly through the book (lots of pictures!) and simplify the explanations so that they are more on his level; just don't know how well it would hold his interest at that point.

    Also, the book is about growing up deaf in the 70s-80s so there are things you will have to explain in terms of difference in the technology - the hearing aids Cece first uses have wires. It was a big reminder to me how far we've come over the years with this technology and I know very little about it - there was a boy in my class growing up who used hearing aids but even then I don't remember there being any wires (this was mid-80s). I do remember the teacher wearing a transmitter.

    Anyway, it certainly held MY interest well so I would recommend that you read it first and then you can figure out how to approach reading it with your DS! Good luck

  5. #5
    octmom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    We just got this book and met the author! Our library had a girls summer reading program about a week and a half ago, and Cece Bell was one of the authors highlighted. She did a Q&A session before signing books. She's very down to earth. Her DH wrote the origami yoga books. Funny thing is that she was sitting with her mom right beside me and DD through the first part of the program and we didn't realize it was her. DD is nine and likes El Deafo a lot. She set it aside though because we are finishing up the Julian chapter that follows Wonder and DD is really into it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowhat? View Post
    It probably depends on the 4yo but my girls probably would've had trouble following at 4 years old. I think 6 or 7+ is a good age for this book but maybe Green Tea can chime in as well. It's a relatively new book so I had heard nothing about it until the girls brought it home.

    I do think you could work your way slowly through the book (lots of pictures!) and simplify the explanations so that they are more on his level; just don't know how well it would hold his interest at that point.

    Also, the book is about growing up deaf in the 70s-80s so there are things you will have to explain in terms of difference in the technology - the hearing aids Cece first uses have wires. It was a big reminder to me how far we've come over the years with this technology and I know very little about it - there was a boy in my class growing up who used hearing aids but even then I don't remember there being any wires (this was mid-80s). I do remember the teacher wearing a transmitter.

    Anyway, it certainly held MY interest well so I would recommend that you read it first and then you can figure out how to approach reading it with your DS! Good luck
    I managed to get "inside" the book to read few advance pages on amazon, and it does look bit advanced for DS1. I bought it paperback to set aside for DS1 when he's bit older, but in the meantime I think I'll read it!

    Glad to know the book held YOUR interest!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mummy to DS1-6/11 and DS2-1/14

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualvansMommy View Post
    Is it a book that's appropriate for a 4 year old? I've been on the lookout for books written about deafness, and prefer books written by authors who have had personal experience with it. DS1 is at the point where he is *just* understanding being deaf means for him.
    I've only skimmed it. It's a graphic novel format, which I think loses something if read aloud. (Or maybe I just dislike reading them aloud!)

    My big kids loved it. I'd guess it's geared for middle elementary students.
    Last edited by BunnyBee; 07-01-2015 at 09:02 PM.

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