Whale Talk
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Whale Talk

3.95 (9,555 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"A truly exceptional book."--Washington Post

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. Bestselling author Chris Crutcher's controversial and acclaimed novel follows a group of outcasts as they take on inequality and injustice in their high school.

"Crutcher's superior gifts as a storyteller and his background as a working therapist combine to make magic in Whale Talk. The thread of truth in his fiction reminds us that heroes can come in any shape, color, ability or size, and friendship can bridge nearly any divide."--Washington Post

T.J. Jones hates the blatant preferential treatment jocks receive at his high school, and the reverence paid to the varsity lettermen. When he sees a member of the wrestling team threatening an underclassman, T.J. decides he's had enough. He recruits some of the biggest misfits at Cutter High to form a swim team. They may not have very much talent, but the All-Night Mermen prove to be way more than T.J. anticipated. As the unlikely athletes move closer to their goal, these new friends might learn that the journey is worth more than the reward. For fans of Andrew Smith, Sherman Alexie, and Matt de la Pena.

"Crutcher offers an unusual yet resonant mixture of black comedy and tragedy that lays bare the superficiality of the high-school scene. The book's shocking climax will force readers to re-examine their own values and may cause them to alter their perception of individuals pegged as 'losers.'"--Publishers Weekly

An American Library Association Best Book for Young AdultsNew York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 298 pages
  • 127 x 180.34 x 15.24mm | 181.44g
  • Greenwillow Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0061771317
  • 9780061771316
  • 288,287

Flap copy

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.
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Back cover copy

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.
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Rating details

9,555 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 35% (3,384)
4 36% (3,448)
3 20% (1,911)
2 6% (533)
1 3% (279)
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