El Deafo is a graphic novel with characters that remind me of Arthur the cartoon from back when my kids were little. I don't think they are weird aardvarks but strange bunnies perhaps? This novel tells the story of a girl Cece who loses her hearing and has to assimilate back into society. It starts by explaining how Cece lost her hearing and the whole book is told by Cece so we get to know her thoughts, fears and questions. It really is an in-depth look at what could go on in the mind of a girl as she tries to find her place in a new school, faces her fears and wonders about how she is perceived. The main character is a deaf girl, but I think most of the questions and thoughts she has about fitting in are universal. It's an interesting perspective and feels very genuine. It has a babyish quality to it, but I think that enhances the voice, as opposed to muting it (no pun intended).
Ages 8-12 Newberry Honor