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!!!


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