Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

Will Halpin is a deaf teenager who has just transferred from a school for the deaf to a mainstream high school in eastern Pennsylvania. Not only does Will stand out because he’s deaf, but he is also the overweight new kid.  His assigned seating is off to the side, which is supposed to enable him to read  lips of both teachers and classmates. The main thing it accomplishes is to set him apart from the rest of the class.  This does not do much for his already somewhat low self image.  Eventually, almost reluctantly, Will becomes friends with another social outcast, Devon Smiley. Together they find themselves involved in solving the mysterious death of fellow classmate and social kingpin, Pat Chambers.  While the mystery adds to the story, it’s is Will’s dark humor (Hamburger Halpin is his screen name) and goofy antic of the two boys that make the story such an enjoyable read.  Teens (and pre-teens) will love this mix up of satire, mystery, and teen romance.

Recommended for grades 8 and up.

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