Monday, July 11, 2011

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

genre: young adult

Will Halpin is taking a serious leap - from a Deaf School into a "Mainstream" School. Because of his excellent lipreading skills as well as his detestation for his hearing aids, Will lives in a silent world. This does NOT make it easy to fit into a gossip-filled, loud and chaotic high school. It also doesn't help that he's, uh, hefty. Plumpish. Big boned.

But he does it. He goes to class and is more than a little bit observant of his peers - his snarky and sometimes hilarious notebook slowly begins to fill with his thoughts on his new teachers and classmates. Despite his hesitation with people, Will cannot avoid a new friend that will soon be his partner as they investigate a crime involving a student at their school.

Will is a pretty hysterical and self-depreciating narrator. It's a lively place inside his head and I really liked all the texting conversations between him and his friend Smiley. I enjoyed watching him sort out his world and it was interesting to be in situations where we don't know what's happening because Will doesn't - I liked reading the experiences of a deaf character. One other thing that made this book intriguing was the coal mining secondary plot, since this book takes place in the hills of Pennsylvania.

Overall, this book was fun to read but I'll be honest, the whole "crime" thing caught me off-guard and it was hard for me to believe. It made the book take such a different turn and while I liked having Will's deafness be an asset to solving a crime, I just never really believed it. What I did believe, though, was that Will is an unlikely hero that a lot of teens will relate to as an outsider with big dreams.

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1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I really liked this book and was able to suspend my disbelief and just go along for the ride.

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