Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

Will Halpin has decided to leave his deaf school and attend the local high school. It is a hard transition, but when one of his classmates is killed during a field trip to a coal mine, he and his friends may be the only possibility of finding the killer.

I loved this book! Will's voice is funny and refreshing. I do love a smart protagonist with loads of wit and sarcasm! And while Devon is definitely dorky, he is also both believable and charming. Berk even makes the school bullies more than just one-dimensional characters.

As for the mystery, it's quite entertaining. I didn't figure it out too quickly and it is realistic and well-paced. Will and Devon end up uncovering several mysteries while just trying to solve this one!

Love the references to Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Sherlock Holmes. They were tastifully used and not overbearing. The use of technology was also well-done.

I had heard about some of the deaf community issues that were brought up in the story, but it was nice to have those fleshed out a little and described by a character I really liked and understood. I brushed up on some sign language,too. Kind of made me want to learn more...

My one complaint is the cover. Seriously, no teen I know is going to want to pick this up on their own. Which is unfortunate, since they would likely enjoy it. Wish the designers would really think about these things.

As for read-alikes, definitely reminded me of Slob, King Dork and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. So, if you liked those, check this one out!

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