Will Halpin is smart, articulate and hearing impaired -- he's also a heavy guy who doesn't quite fit in -- either in deaf culture or in the hearing world. Because his profound hearing loss was relatively late in onset, his language skills are quite high, and he doesn't feel a complete connection to deaf culture. On the other hand, he isn't quite accepted in the hearing world either.
Will has decided to leave the deaf school where he's always been educated and attend a mainstream high school, despite the inadequate accommodations offered there. This proves to be a struggle, but he is quickly befriended by Devon Smiley, another smart, nerdy outsider. Amid enduring insanity on the school bus, having casserole thrown at him by a bully, and being ignored by the prettiest girl in school, Will becomes intrigued by a local mystery, the legendary ghost of a man trapped and crushed in a coal mine.
Then a tragedy strikes, and Will and Devon find themselves trying to unravel a mystery. They're on the trail of a killer who may be linked to a political scandal surrounding a local citizen or might simply be a fellow student.
My daughter and fellow blogger, MovieBuff25, recommended this young adult novel to me, and I pretty much read it in one sitting. It offered virtually everything I like in YA novels, a smart, quirky protagonist with a distinctive voice, genuine adolescent struggles, humor, and a strong, well-told story. The murder mystery was icing on the cake. I really connected with the protagonist and was sorry when the book ended. The fact that this novel touched on the plight of men who spent their lives working in the coal mines also enriched the story.
I highly recommend this for readers age 13 and up.
Read More Reviews: Reading Junky's Reading Roost; The Book Nest; Alison's Book Marks; Bookish Blather; One Librarian's Book Reviews
|5- Cherished Favorite||4 - Keep in My Library||3 - Good Read||2 - Meh||1 - Definitely Not|