January 29, 2010

Whale in the Pool

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Reviewed by Mimi

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher was truthfully one of the best books I read all summer and changed my outlook on life in so many ways. The book is narrated by T.J. Jones, one of his school's best athletes, who's never played on a sports team because he doesn't believe in competition. But when asked by a mentor to help form a swim team, T.J. decides to give competitive sports another chance. The team is made up of all sorts of misfits that would never fit the role of high school jock. There's a guy with mental retardation, a body builder, a guy with one leg and then of course T.J. who is one of the only black people in town. As T.J. struggles with racism, trouble at home and the stresses of finally being a part of a team, he also learns to love who he is even with the challenges that come with it. But will this team of misfits conquer their personal issues and rise to success or will they never have somewhere to belong? What I loved most about this book was the protagonist, T.J. He is such a mixture of personalities and abilities and he is always confident in himself and has the will to do anything. Even at times when the pressure of being different comes back to haunt him, T.J. never lets it stop him from believing in himself and his team. The author, whose other books I have also read and loved, made T.J. so realistic that I felt myself rooting for him at every moment. Anyone and everyone should read this book but be prepared for some derogatory terms, to show the contempt for the townspeople, and a fair amount of foul language.

Posted by at January 29, 2010 02:31 PM
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