Charming as a Verb
Henri "Halti" Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University.
There is only one person who seems immune to Henri's charms: his "intense" classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri's less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself.
Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for.
This is a sharply funny and insightful novel about the countless hustles we have to keep from doing the hardest thing: being ourselves. (From Balzer + Bray)
Montreal-raised Ben Philippe published his debut novel The Field Guide to the North American Teenager in the spring of 2019. The YA book follows a wisecracking black French Canadian teenager named Norris who moves to Austin, Texas. Philippe has an MFA in fiction and screenwriting and has contributed to publications like Vanity Fair, the Guardian and Playboy. CBC Books named Philippe a writer to watch in 2019.
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