Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

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A varsity letter jacket: it's exclusive, nearly unattainable, revered . . . and everything that's screwed up about Cutter High, as far as T. J. Jones is concerned. That's why T. J. is determined to have the Cutter All Night Mermen—the unlikeliest swim team a high school has ever seen—earn letter jackets of their own.

It won't be easy. For one thing, they don't even have a pool. They will fight for their dignity, they will fight with each other, and sometimes they will just fight. And then they will realize that a single moment can bring lifelong heartache or lifelong friendship. For T. J. and his crew of misfits, the quest may be far more valuable than the reward.


About Chris Crutcher

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Chris Crutcher has written nine critically acclaimed novels, an autobiography, and two collections of short stories. Drawing on his experience as a family therapist and child protec-tion specialist, Crutcher writes honestly about real issues facing teenagers today: making it through school, competing in sports, handling rejection and failure, and dealing with parents. He has won three lifetime achievement awards for the body of his work: the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award. Chris Crutcher lives in Spokane, Washington.
Published September 10, 2009 by Greenwillow Books. 308 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Whale Talk

Kirkus Reviews

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High-school senior The Tao (T.J.) Jones has learned to live with his status as the only student of color in his small, rural high school, but he has never learned to accept the school's suffocating reverence for the athletic establishment.

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Publishers Weekly

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Publishers Weekly is the international news website of book publishing and bookselling including business news, reviews, bestseller lists, commentaries and more.

Mar 26 2001 | Read Full Review of Whale Talk

Publishers Weekly

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Jones's darkly ironic appraisal of the high school sports arena, this gripping tale of smalltown prejudice delivers a frank, powerful message about social issues and ills," wrote PW in a starred review.

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Publishers Weekly

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has steered away from organized sports until his senior year, when Mr. Simet, a favorite English teacher, implores him to help form a swim team for the school (and thereby help the teacher save his job).

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Teen Reads

The Book Report NetworkSign up for our newsletters!Picture your high school's outcasts.

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WAPL Teens

about starting a swim team, he gathers together a band of misfits and creates a team of Mermen.

Jul 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Whale Talk

Jackson District Library

TJ assembles a team of misfits: Chris, a bodybuilder, a fat kid, a super smart kid, an invisible kid, and a psychopath.

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