Will Halpin is Deaf, and it’s his first day at mainstream public school. Being a lip reader and ignored (to the point of near invisibility) gives Will the opportunity to observe a lot about his classmates. He gets through the day by writing his wry (read: snarky) comments in his notebook and generally trying to make sense of high school culture. Basically, Will Halpin is hilarious:
“It is pretty much a directly rising slope of coolness from the front of the bus to the back. From me to a weird skinny guy in a football shirt who clearly isn’t on the team, to Marie (whose last name is Stepcoat) to the trio from my morning bus stop: A.J. Fischels, Teresa Lockhart, and Gabby Meyers. If you keep going, you’d fly out the back of the bus onto the road itself and land in the cars belonging to kids far too cool to ever set foot on a bus.”
Then, on a field trip to Happy Memory Coal Mine, the quarterback (and first-rate bully) falls to his death. The police say it was an accident, but rumors swirl that it was murder. Will has been watching the quarterback with fascination: his father mired in political scandals, the planned huge and exclusive birthday party the students would kill to be invited to, the looks from the flirty math teacher, the beautiful girlfriend with a sad look in her eyes… Will may be the one with the keys to a mystery, if he can put them together, and all of a sudden he has a Hardy Boys obsessed friend to help him out.
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin is great. Funny, a good mystery and all around a great read!