Chris Crutcher Website
Allan Public Library
Presents: Author Chris Crutcher - Where Stories Come From
Chris Crutcher Blog
Words in Young Adult
Banned Books List - Current
100 Most Frequently Banned Books - Video for
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Thesis Statement Worksheet
Topic Sentence Worksheet
Whale Talk Essay
What Chris Crutcher says about the book:
Talk" is a tough book, but it is also a compassionate book,
about telling the truth and about redemption. I didnít draw the
tough parts out of thin air; they are stories handed to me by
people in pain.
I think people who believe we can protect our
children by keeping them ignorant of hard times and the language
those times are told in, donít realize that by showing our fear
of issues and language that are "everyday" to our children, we
take ourselves off that short list of people to turn to in a
Censors can make a case for zero tolerance in language.
They can make the argument that since we donít allow our
children to use that language in schools, we also shouldnít give
them stories in which it is used. But thatís an easy thing to
deal with, and Iíve seen it done a hundred times. Teachers bring
up the offensiveness of the language and talk about why itís
used to make a story real. We donít have to use the language to
talk about the story in the classroom, but we can certainly talk
about the raw power of any good story told in its native tongue.
With these words, author Chris Crutcher confirms the
importance of stories - sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful,
always authentic - in people's lives. It is not by chance
then that we begin our essential question - Why do people tell
stories? - by questioning why the protagonist tells his own
For The Tao Jones, the complex hero of Whale Talk, that question encompasses a range of
possible responses - perhaps it is to connect with others, to
share the human experience; perhaps it is to speak for
those too weak, too small, too abused to speak for themselves;
perhaps it is to merely express his own truth, to confirm the
history of his time on earth.
In examining TJ's motives for telling stories, we begin our
examination of why people have told stories throughout time.
And like TJ's motivations, we will find that the reasons for
telling stories are as compelling as they are diverse, as
consistent and they are ageless. Ideally we, like TJ, will
find our own motivations and voice to tell our own story at the
end of the course.