Whale Talk

Whale Talk

Book - 2001
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Intellectually and athletically gifted, TJ, a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school's less popular students.
Publisher: New York : Greenwillow Books, [2001]
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060293697
0060293691
9780688180195
0688180191
Branch Call Number: Y CRUTCHER, C
Characteristics: 220 pages ; 24 cm

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hoodpeters Jan 15, 2012

this has BOTH a sports and a war theme. I loved it, if that means anything.

crankylibrarian Sep 30, 2011

One of the best teen novels I've ever read. T.J., an engaging, articulate teenager with an uncanny sense of self, is a fish out of water: a biracial adoptee in the monocultural Pacific Northwest, a natural athlete who refuses to participate in his school's pervasive jock culture. When a disabled classmate is bullied for wearing his dead brother's letter jacket, T.J. hatches a brilliant plan: create a swim team composed of school misfits who can earn athletic letters of their own. The Mermen: one overweight, one nerd, one developmentally disabled, one with a prosthetic leg; eventually win respect and admiration across the state, and their friendship brings out unexpected depths of character and talent in them all.

Residents of small town Idaho and Washington, and former school athletes may squirm at the novel's depiction of casual racism and misogyny in those cultures, and I admit that the characters are either completely likable or satanically evil. Yet this is a wonderful story of how one courageous, determined teen can make a huge difference in the lives of people around him.

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