Alison's Reviews > The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
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's review
Apr 26, 2010

really liked it
Read from April 20 to 21, 2010 — I own a copy

I loved this book! Another great book for boys and girls alike!

I'm always on the lookout for books my boys will like now and in the future, and since I'm not your typical girly-girl, books like this grab me as well. The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk is a great story about Will Halpin, screen name HambugerHalpin, a goofy kid who finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery when the star quarterback dies while on a class trip to the Happy Memory Coal Mine.

Will Halpin has the cards stacked against him - he's the new kid, he's a bit chubby, he's deaf, and his new best friend is the second-most unpopular kid in school. This first person narrative takes us through the world of Will, in which perception is king. He can read lips second only to his ex-girlfriend, Ebony, and what kid could resist watching the popular kids' conversations across the bus? Kids are cruel, and the students at Carbon High are pretty bad. Could they be so bad to commit murder?

Will Halpin has left his school for the deaf in favor of a shot at the public high school. The murder mystery, the new kid factor, and Will's deafness sound like a recipe for a heavy novel, but they're really not. There is plenty to think about, as some highly-charged topics come up, but nothing is heavy as Berk manages to sprinkle some serious topics in between his sarcastic-heavy dialogue.

"The first thing I notice is this: public school girls are freaking hot. Nice. I try to focus on that and not on the sinking feeling that it might be way harder not to fail here than I thought."

The murder mystery is a great ride and one that Will and his new pal, Devon Smiley, take seriously, as long as the reader doesn't take them too seriously. I loved this book, and so glad to have found it. I will be sure to save this one for when my boys are 12 or 13. I HIGHLY recommend The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk!
Josh Berk first came onto my radar through the Tenners (woo hoo!) a group of YA authors whose debut books are due for release in 2010. Then, my favorite bookstore, Clinton Book Shop, had an author signing. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend - I caught Strep from my little guy and didn't want Josh Berk to get sick. I have my signed copy of Hamburger Halpin up on my shelf and will cherish it, but I hope to meet the author someday.

For more of my reviews: Alison's Book Marks

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