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Whale Talk book review

Whale Talk

Chris Crutcher

Realistic Fiction/Comedy/Drama

298 pages


This is both a comedy and a drama writing, in my opinion. The writing is certainly funny and amusing to read, but the story felt like a drama to me. T.J. is a guy who always stands up for what he believes in. So when he sees the resident school jock pushing around a handicapped kid, Chris, for wearing his dead brother’s letter jacket, he decides to do something about it. T.J. decides to help Chris get a varsity jacket of his own. The school and even other ex-jocks in the town take this very seriously and protest the idea that someone like Chris could be allowed to wear a jacket. They decide to do everything they can to prevent this from happening.


T.J. sets up his own swim team with one goal in mind:get the team of misfits jackets. With T.J.’s guidance and the help of their coach, Mr. Simet, they work hard at practice and their swim meets to try to accomplish what no one believes they can do. By doing this, T.J. sets off a chain of events that will change his life forever. He finds out that, although things are hard, he has the strength within himself to push through whatever challenges him.


For me, I thought this was a good story because it rang true. I knew guys like this in high school, maybe not to the extent that some of them reach in the novel, but certainly people who reminded me of the characters. It’s a story with a good message about standing up for what you believe in and about how we should help others. There was some sadness in it, but from that came hope, and the outlook to a bright future ahead. Some of the content and themes might not be suitable for younger readers, but I think it is a book that raises good issues for almost anyone to read.


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