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The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh…

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

by Josh Berk

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2791959,453 (3.66)4



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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This was a great book -- funny, witty, touching and adventurous. Will Halpin, the main character, is deaf-mute and overweight. He admits to these three facts freely. Resigned to his place as an outsider, he uses his observer status to watch all of the other students around him at his school (often making hilarious observations in the process). Will Halpin is a great character to get inside, and I loved all of his sarcastic remarks. The book turns into a mystery halfway through, and Will suddenly uses his observational skills to become an amateur sleuth. It's all great fun, with the appropriate "whodunit?" revelation at the end. I could read this book several times and never get tired of it. ( )
  KamagiKat | Nov 9, 2018 |
This is a story about a teenage boy trying to live successfully in two worlds. Will Halpin is deaf and has been educated in all deaf schools his whole life. But as a high school sophomore he tries to mainstream. This angers his deaf classmates who question his deaf pride. But he's determined to make it in the hearing world. What I liked about this book was how natural Will was written. He wasn't exceptional in any way, he was just a typical teenager looking for typical teenage experiences. The great weakness of this book was its plot. It presented itself as realistic fiction, but read like a badly written boys' detective novel. So with 5 stars for Will and 1 star for the plot, the book gets a 3. ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
Will Halpin is a social outcast, fat, and deaf. In his first year in a 'real' high school -- mainstreamed -- not a school for the deaf. His disability creates a lot of roadblocks but he manages to make one friend, Devon Smiley and when the star football player, Pat Chambers, is killed during a school field trip to the local coal mines, the boys suspect ...murder!

While a promising premise and a good voice, the author tries to do too much. Various subplots are introduced and then dropped... getting a new dog (a 'stray' that just literally wanders into his life... what, no lost and found posters?), Will's crush on Leigha (a fateful letter written, delivered, never acknowledged), Will's flirtation with the deaf-signing cop, etc.

Will's voice is good -- self-effacing and humorous -- but without the 'gift' of dialogue, the author stretches to include IMing and emails which, at times, seem stilted and unreal (would a kid really text "I apologize for the oversight"?)

Most troublesome for this reader, the moral compass of the book seemed askew. Will and Devin are routinely bullied (does this stuff really still go on? And where are the adults?) Will blithely rips off his Internet access, hacks his Dad's password, tears down a street sign, lies during a police interrogation, and casts a sexy eye on various adult females.... It was this moral disconnect that ultimately 'killed' the book for this reader. Too bad. ( )
  mjspear | Dec 1, 2014 |
It wasn't a terrible book but it wasn't amazing either! The biggest problem with the book is the like-abilty of the main character. He was not like-able or endearing to me in any way. Too angsty by far! I hate forcing myself to read a book but this was a book club donation so I muddled through. ( )
  grapeapril75 | Oct 18, 2014 |
Outsider kid goes to a new school, reluctantly makes friends with another outsider kid, gets picked on by popular kids, popular kid dies on a field trip, outsider kids solve the mystery Hardy-Boys Style. New spin: outsider status is bestowed on the original kid due to deafness (his friend is just a dork).

I liked it okay, though I don't totally get all the stars it's racking up from various review journals. I think what's bothering me most is the number of fat jokes. Will's weight has very little to do with the story (seems like an extra thing to throw in just to clinch the "outsider" status), but he constantly makes cracks about it despite it not being an important part of his character development at all.

I'd read more from this author, but this isn't one of my favorites of recent reads. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
The mystery is not the strong suit here; it’s the goofiness of these two unexpected heroes and their take on high school that carries the novel.
added by khuggard | editBooklist, Cindy Dobrez
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.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal, Jeffrey Hastings

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Josh Berkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Meskimen, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Jack and Rita Berk for filling my life with laughter, love, and, books, books, books . . .
First words
It is a cool September morning.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375856994, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Will Halpin transfers from his all-deaf school into a mainstream Pennsylvania high school, he faces discrimination and bullying, but still manages to solve a mystery surrounding the death of a popular football player in his class.

» see all 2 descriptions

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