In the spirit of One City, One Story, the Pasadena Public Library and Vroman’s Bookstore hosted programs centered around the Young Readers League (YRL) selection, El Deafo by Cece Bell. YRL is designed as a community-wide reading celebration by championing and geeking out over a single book.

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El Deafo is a hilarious and charming graphic novel memoir about a young hearing impaired girl and her experiences growing up. It’s often described as a mashup of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and R.J. Palacio’s Wonder.

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We offered several tie-in programs here at the library: El Deafo trivia competition with superhero cape making in November, and a scavenger hunt with clues in sign language in December.  During both events, I met several families who all read the book (from 6 year olds to their parents), and all found it a great topic for discussion. It’s a wonderful draw for middle school kids, younger and older siblings, parents, teachers, anyone!

Kids Book Club:  El Deafo Jeopardy and superhero cape craft

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In this special edition of the Kids Book Club, we celebrated El Deafo with a trivia competition (Jeopardy style) and diy superhero capes. The kids wrote their answers on a notebook page, presented their answers, then I announced the answer and awarded each correct answer with a raffle ticket. The participant with the most answers correct won a hardcover copy of El Deafo; excluding the top participant (since she already won a book), a second book was raffled to the remaining participants–their chances being a result of how many tickets they earned during the game. Consequently, the second highest ticket-earning participant won the raffle–a six year old!


After the game, everyone designed their own red cape using fabric and Crayola fabric markers.  This was a no-sew method, using hole punchers and string to cinch the capes together.  The kids were also challenged to devise their own superhero name by flipping what would normally be considered their flaw into their superpower–like our hero herself.

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Read more in our next blog: El Deafo part 2