Summary and book reviews of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

By Josh Berk

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2010,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2011,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)

Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut.

CHAPTER ONE

It is a cool September morning. The sun is breaking through the pines, and the air carries a tangy scent of freshness and renewal only to be found on the first day of school. I am rocking my plus-size Phillies sweatshirt and waiting with the others at the bus stop. Well, not exactly "with" them. As often happens when I'm out in the world, I place myself a little bit apart from the herd. I lean against a tree a few feet off to the side of a triangle formation of two cute girls and a dude. I get their names: A.J., Teresa, and Gabby. They hardly acknowledge me, so I return the favor. I have a lot on my mind anyway.

Will I survive at the mainstream school? Should I seduce Nurse Weaver to stay out of special ed? I don't have a proven talent for normal, and it strains the limits of credibility to come up with a scenario that involves seducing Nurse Weaver, the school district RN who did my hearing test. (I passed, barely, by guessing and promising to wear my hearing aids, which ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

Part coming-of age-story, part mystery, and part social satire, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin is a quirky, genre-bending story. Berk is especially adept at tackling the rarely talked about social and political issues inside the deaf community. And because he weaves these into the more overt social and political issues inside a typical teenage community, we are able to see those more "normalized" issues in a new light. Through Will's astute eyes and mind, Berk blows open teenage stereotypes, high school rules of hierarchy, and the too-often silent identity struggles all teens face.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

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Media Reviews
Booklist

A humorous first novel from an author to watch

Publishers Weekly

An engrossing whodunit that subtly draws attention to social issues surrounding deafness. Ages 12–up.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. This witty tale of mainstreaming, misfits and murder glitters like the 'Future Diamonds' that coal-mine souvenirs promise to someday become.

School Library Journal

A coming-of-age mash-up of satire, realistic fiction, mystery, and ill-fated teen romance, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin is a genre-bending breakthrough that teens are going to love.

Reader Reviews
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Book report
For library this kid and I did a report on this book, and it was a good read. It had a great story-line that includes romance, mystery, and disabilities. this book is a very good book.

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The History of The Hardy Boys

Shortly after Will and Devon begin investigating the mysterious death of their high school quarterback, they name themselves the Hardy Boys. Here they are texting as they create this new identity:

Smiley_Man3000: With all the inside info I get from my dad and your big brain, we can solve this Chambers thing!

HamburgerHalpin: what r we? The freakin' hardy boys?

Smiley_Man3000: Yeah! I'll be Frank. I think he was the one with the dark hair.

HamburgerHalpin: good. u b frank. now which one was the fat one?

The Hardy Boys mystery series was created in 1926 by Edward Stratemeyer, who founded the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a book packaging firm. (Stratemeyer also created the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew). He hired ...

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