Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

Banned or Challenged For: Racism and Offensive Language

TJ Jones is not your average high school student. TJ Jones is a super-athlete. He can play any sport and all the jocks want him to join their teams. But for a lot of reasons, he does not play any school sports. TJ (The Tao is his legal name) Jones is part black, part Japanese and part white in a part of the country where the majority of residents are pure white. And many of those same residents are racists. TJ’s learned to live with it. But just because TJ’s learned to live with it, it doesn’t mean that he accepts it. And just because he can take all the racists remarks that are directed at him, doesn’t mean that he will let anyone judge or degrade someone else. And because of this philosophy, he gets coaxed into joining the school’s swim team.  The school has no pool and only he is a real swimmer. Because letter jackets are the status symbol at Cutter High, TJ decides that he is going to assemble a bunch of misfits to join the swim team and get every one of his teammates a letter jacket.  Throughout the year, this band of misfits becomes somewhat of a family and hopefully, they will form friendships that last a lifetime. Whale Talk is packed with action, romance, drama, tragedy and comedy.  It’s a must read for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider looking in.

Barb Lawler

CLP – Allegheny

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