Will Halpin, the central character in Josh Berk's debut novel The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, is a perfect example of an unreliable narrator for one simple reason: he's deaf. The reader literally hears only what Will hears - or more accurately, we only read what he lip-reads - and he misses words here and there. For instance, this is what Will lip-reads from his history teacher one day: "How did you (something something) the reading? Was there anything (something something) found interesting? Didn't any of you (something) the reading at all?" Will misses a lot. But Josh Berk does an amazing job of making Will immediately likeable anyway. He is witty, smart, self-deprecating in an endearing way, and he has just made the choice to switch from attending a deaf school to his local public school. The combination of these traits and the vulnerability of his situation makes us want to trust ...
Recommended for ages 12 & up.
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