Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
What do you do if you’re a 6’2″ super athlete who also just happens to be black, white, and Japanese and living in an area famous for its Aryan Nation fort? You might join the football or basketball teams, whose coaches have been begging you to play since junior high. But not if you are T.J. “The Tao” Jones. Not one to ever do what he is told, T.J. decides to get his revenge by forming the wildest group of misfits known to high school into a varsity swim team. Never mind that the school has no pool and one of the swimmers has only one leg. That the very existence of the swim team is driving the macho jocks of the football team crazy is just an extra bonus.
Throwing a loop in T.J.’s plans is Mike Barbour, football jerk extraordinaire. Irritated by T.J.’s lack of interest in football, and incensed at the “loser” crew he has formed for his swim team, Mike and the Athletic Council put a codicil on the team’s letter jacket requirements. No swimmer, not a single one, will get a letter jacket unless every single swimmer beats their personal record every meet of the season. Faced with this herculean task, you can only ask yourself… Will they sink or swim?
Warning: This book is NOT for the faint of heart. It deals with many traumatic and difficult issues, and, much like life, the nice guys don’t always finish first.
Check the WRL catalog for Whale Talk