Whale Talk by chris crutcher

January 12, 2010
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Many teens don’t like books about sports or just books in general, but Chris Crutcher’s awesome book “Whale talk” could definitely change their minds about reading.

In Whale Talk, T.J Jones, a very athletic teen, hates organized teams and being told what to do. "…Something inside me recoils at being told what to do, and that doesn't sit well with most coaches, who are paid to do exactly that."( Crutcher 8) But when Mr. Simet, his English teacher asks him to help start a swim team at Cutter, T. J. sees an opportunity to turn around the school's idea of what a athlete is, and takes it.

When Tj sees Mike Barbour the captain of the football team, picking on Chris Coughlin one time too many he gets a good idea, why not make a team of non-athletes and other misfits that can work toward what every athlete at the jock dominated school yearns for - The Varsity Letter Jacket. T.J. then starts recruiting for this team from the most unlikely places. Which ends up being the strangest looking swim team ever seen. “ …I stuff a flyer inside that reads FEARLESS HIGH SCHOOL MERMEN & MERMAIDS WANTED: CASH PRIZES AND INSTANT FAME above my telephone number…”(Crutcher 22) This new team includes Chris Coughlin, Dan Hole, Jackie Craig, Tay-Roy Kibble, Andy Mott and the captain, Tj Jones. Throughout the fight for the letter jacket, T.J. and his teammates have to deal with Rich Marshall , Mike Barbour, and the athletic council.

This book describes the everyday struggles of Tj and his teammates on their way to victory. This book is an excellent story and very realistic; almost painfully so. “ Tay- Roy says, ‘No, man, this is a team. Our season lasts as long as one of us is still alive’”( Crutcher 163). As the team bonds with one another and grows like a family, the reader becomes part of that family themselves.





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