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Whale Talk

 
 
 
 
Whale Talk
Author: Chris Crutcher
ISBN 13: 9780061771316
ISBN 10: 61771317
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: 2009-06-30
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $9.99
 
 

There's bad news and good news about the Cutter High School swim team. The bad news is that they don't have a pool. The good news is that only one of them can swim anyway.

A group of misfits brought together by T. J. Jones (the J is redundant) to find their places in a school that has no place for them, the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to carve out their own turf. T. J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket—unattainable for most, exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T. J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High—will be an effective carving tool. He's right. He's also wrong.

Still, it's always the quest that counts. And the bus on which the Mermen travel to swim meets—piloted by Icko, the permanent resident of All, Night Fitness—soon becomes the cocoon inside which they gradually allow themselves to talk, to fit, to bloom.

Chris Crutcher is in top form with a cast of characters—adults, children, and teenagers—fighting for dignity in a world where tragedy and comedy dance side by side, where a moment's inattention can bring lifelong heartache, and where true acceptance is the only prescription for what ails us.

Publishers Weekly

"Featuring narrator T.J. 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. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)