El Deafo

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a nominee for the 2016-17 South Carolina Children’s Book Award.

El Deafo is both a graphic novel and a memoir. It truly is Cece Bell’s story. This story–which depicts young Cece as a rabbit–tells of how she lost her hearing and adapted to the world around her. It shows her difficulties fitting in as well as her triumphs. It’s hilarious at times and heart-breaking at others, and anyone who sees himself/herself as different will relate to Cece in some way.

But you don’t really need me to tell you about this book. Let’s hear from the author herself…

I think El Deafo is a great book for introducing a variety of concepts. Some of those may include:

  • telling stories in a variety of formats
  • exploring the relationships between art and writing
  • memoirs
  • accepting/celebrating differences; tolerance
  • empathy
  • self-confidence
  • handling conflict

To learn more about this amazing book and author Cece Bell, visit her website.

Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story

Four Perfect Pebbles:  A Holocaust Story by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan is a memoir of the Lazan family’s experiences during the Holocaust.  It seemed as though every attempt the family made to leave Germany was met with failure.  Even when they fled to Holland, they were sent back to Germany soon after Hitler’s troops took over the Netherlands.  The family lived in refugee, transit, and prison camps in both Holland and Germany.  Marion believed that if she could find four perfect pebbles in the yard of the prison camp at Bergen-Belsen then her family would remain whole and even survive the Nazi occupation in Europe.

This memoir is a very powerful look at what can happen when evil is allowed to flourish and how people can have faith that things will get better even in times of darkness.  I read this book in about two hours, but the message remained with me long after.

If you’d like more information on Four Perfect Pebbles and Mrs. Lazan, I urge you to visit http://www.fourperfectpebbles.com/indexS&TR3.4.10.html.

I was privileged to meet Marion Blumenthal Lazan a couple of years ago, and I was astounded by how humble and courageous she was.  She is the very epitome of a true survivor.