The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
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. [summary from Goodreads]
This book has been cropping up all over the Twitter feeds lately as it keeps on getting starred reviews from all of the most well-respected review publications out there, its first one being from Kirkus (R.I.P.), whose reviews I happen to agree with nearly always. (Is there a chance it will have a "revival," a la Les Miserables? We shall see!) I also had great experiences reading books about males written by males in 2009 (Swim the Fly by Don Calame; Sprout by Dale Peck; Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff) so I'm sure I will find Will just as likable and hilarious.
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin will be published by Alfred A. Knopf Books in hardcover on February 9, 2010.