Kathy's Reviews > Whale Talk

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
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Nov 26, 07

bookshelves: realistic-fiction, young-adult
Read in February, 2007

T.J. is a young man who has turned into a smart, caring, and athletic high school student, despite being neglected by his drug addicted mother as a young child. His loving, ex-hippie adoptive parents and a dedicated therapist helped him work through that and now he’s doing fine as a young adult. However, when the high school jocks start bullying a mentally challenged student for wearing his dead brother’s letter jacket, T.J. is outraged. He cooks up a scheme to get a letter jacket for this boy and in the process starts a swim team that attracts the most unlikely participants.

Reaction: I loved this book. It portrays some brutal things: prejudice, child abuse, bullying, the accidental death of a child, and even murder. Sometimes you can’t imagine while reading it that people can be so cruel, but ultimately it’s a hopeful story. It also has a strong, together main character who happens to be black, white and Japanese. His ragged band of mermen are some interesting characters as well. This book would be great for starting many different conversations with young adults.
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