Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Newbery Honor Author Cece Bell

Wow! This has been an amazing and memorable week for children's literature. My heart is happy for many of my favorite books and authors. 

I asked Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Cece Bell (El Deafo), and Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) the same three questions. 

Today is author-illustrator Cece Bell's day to shine. Congratulations, Cece! 

El Deafo by Cece Bell  | Newbery Honor | Abrams  

Mr. Schu: What ran through your head when the Newbery committee texted you that El Deafo won a Newbery Honor? What was your response?

Cece Bell: I couldn't believe it! I kept thinking, the committee took the leap! They really took the leap into graphic novel territory! I was beyond happy, and so grateful to the committee for just going for it. Lots of grinning, and grinning through tears.

The whole text exchange is on Tom's phone, and I think the first thing I texted was OMG OMG OMG. That about sums it up.

Mr. Schu: What does the Newbery mean to you?

Cece Bell: It's an award for writing...great writing...and for books that capture the imagination. I mainly think of myself as a decent illustrator; I write so that I can draw. The fact that I got honored in this way—as a writer—is surreal. But the best kind of surreal!

Please finish this sentence starter:

Reading is an escape from your world when you need it, and an introduction to other worlds when you're ready for them.


Mr. Schu: I want to hug every member of the 2015 Newbery committee. What a smart group of readers!

Cece Bell: John, thank YOU for your years and years of support. You've always been so kind to me, and so generous with your time and talents

Mr. Schu: Thank you for creating books that touch our hearts. You are one of the kindest people I have ever met. 

Borrow El Deafo from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


  1. So happy for Cece & GN! What a wonderful thing to happen in 2015! This is an amazing book for ALL children! ❤️

  2. As another author with severe hearing loss, I applaud Cece's bravery. It is something I've been ashamed of for years and am only now coming to terms with. I cannot tell you how many copies of El Deafo I've purchased!!! She's right, it is like a manual and my family has been a little more educated on my disability from it. I laughed, I cried, I screamed yes, yes, YES so many times while reading. Bravo, Cece. You're an inspiration!

  3. So, so happy for Cece! What a book!!!