At age four, Cece loses her hearing and must start wearing hearing aids. The hearing aids help, but Cece must still learn to lip read in order to understand what people are saying. Much of the time she struggles to make sense of what's going on. This makes school and friendships challenging.
Cece just wants to be like everyone else and in many ways, she is. She goes to sleepovers, goofs off at school and develops a crush on Mike Miller. But Cece also has to learn to become comfortable with her own deafness.
At school, Cece must wear special hearing aids while her teachers wear a microphone. Cece discovers that she can hear her teachers clearly while they wear that microphone, no matter where they are in the school. She often hears her teacher gossiping in the staff room and going to the bathroom. Her ability to hear these things seems like a superpower to her, and soon Cece gives herself the superhero name El Deafo.
When Cece’s classmates learn about this power, she really becomes popular. Now the students can have a party every time their teacher leaves because Cece can always warn them when she’s coming back!
El Deafo is a heartwarming graphic novel that celebrates what it’s like to be a little different.