Whale Talk | Teen Ink

Whale Talk MAG

By Bapalapa2 ELITE, Brooklyn, New York
Bapalapa2 ELITE, Brooklyn, New York
1044 articles 0 photos 1 comment

     Whale Talk is an amazing story written by a man who seems to know youth well. Chris Crutcher writes from the perspective of a black-Japanese-white high-school student in Idaho. Adopted at birth by white parents, T.J. Jones is determined to make a difference in his high school, a place dominated by jocks.

When T.J.'s English teacher approaches him with the idea of starting a one-man swim team, T.J. decides to take this one step further. In a touching effort to change the status of some very unathletic students, T.J. recruits the most unlikely athletes for Cutter High School's first-ever swim team. The seven young men are Simon DeLong (300 pounds), Daniel Hole (extreme nerd), Andy Mott (one leg), Jackie Craig (silent), Tay Roy Kibble (solid muscle), Chris Coughlin (special needs), and T.J. Jones himself.

With the help of Mr. Simet and Oliver Van Zandt (a man T.J. found living in the gym), this team of misfits transforms into a group of boys determined to win a letter jacket, the symbol of all that is holy at Cutter High.

Throughout, the youth bond and reveal their haunting pasts. You will come to love and respect the stamina and courage of the boys and their ability to rise above their circumstances. A perfect mix of sports and life, the book is beautifully written and will find a place in every reader's heart that yearns to make a difference in the people around them.

Similar Articles


This article has 3 comments.

i love this !

Guage said...
on Nov. 15 2013 at 11:59 am
                                                Whale Talk This is a book I enjoyed the detail and the theme is very good when I first started reading this authors series I was amazed by the twist in these books. This book wasn’t his best It just starts out slow and as long as you stick with it. The character T.j Jones an adopted Asian-African-European a very out standing athlete but refuses to join any teams because of his anger management issues. The school is very disappointed at him because he won’t support them. The school shows favoritism to Mike Barbour a stud or jock as they call him but a he is a vicious bully bulling Chris Coughlin a kid with autism but T.J hates it so he puts a stop to it.                 John Simet his English teacher convinces T.J to start a swimming team and to be the captain. So now all he has to do is gather up people one of them is Chris, Dan the big muscular body builder, Tay Roy Kimble, the musician and then there is Andy Mott the one legged antisocial disrespect full but then starts to open up a little. Simon hopes that the team can meet letterman jacket standards so they can embarrass the athletics. They are renting out a gym when T.J stumbles across a homeless man that he offers him a job to train them in the weight room.                 Meanwhile Barbour has a racist friend named Rich Marshall who’s his old Gf had a daughter with another man and she’s half black so he hates her but TJs therapist has her and he offers her  to let Heidi stay at is house while things cool down at home. He begins to like this girl a lot but she is emotionally in shock.                 While Tj has met his letterman requirement but Chris has not so they offer mike Barbour a challenge if he can outswim Chris insulting Chris he accepts the challenge. The following year he goes and enters a tournament Hoop Fest were teams come all around to win Mikes team is very good but while they are playing TJs father is on the side line with Heidi while rich Marshall is going to get his gun he’s aiming at her but then his dad jumps in front of the bullet. His dad before he met his mom he had had an affair and Found out he had another so nobody new about so to relies he has a brother.               

peaceout412 said...
on May. 13 2009 at 3:06 pm
Whale Talk was a touching moving story. It keeps the reader interested all the way till the last word. T.J. is at a constant struggle with school and at home mostly because of his mixed race and lack of school spirit. This book teaches alot of lessons about life. I would recommend it to any young adult.