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Whale Talk Chapters 9-10

1. Who is both the editor and reporter of the Cutter High School newspaper and
is therefore, also responsible for shedding light on the swim teams
performance via an article about them within that paper?
a. Dan Hole
b. Mr. Simet
c. T.J. Jones
d. Mike Barbour
For the next three questions, use the following text to choose the best
option to complete the sentence.
Im not in the hallway five seconds before I hear the melodic tones of mike
Barbour floating to my ears.
Jones!
I turn. Hes with Rich Marshall, carrying the newspaper. Saw this article
on your swim team.
I say Im glad he was able to get someone to read it to him.
I got through it okay. Took me a while, though. Kept stumbling over the
word dynasty.
It does have three syllables.
That wasnt my problem, he says back. My problem was with the
meaning. I thought it meant something about winners. What was that, some
Special Olympics swim meet?
Your welcome to get some of your football boys together for a little
intramural meet, I tell him. Say maybe as a fundraiser to get some of you guys
tutors.
Well do a swim meet, he says, if you guys wanna follow it up with a
little flag football game.
Marshall clears his throat. Man, I feel like Ive been transported to jockmonster hell. These guys are the worst of the worst. This isnt about athletics, this
is about assholes. Do you have any respect for anything, Jones?
Yeah, I have respect for some things, I say back, and have to hold myself
back from saying I have respect for little kids and women and their right not to be
treated totally like shit by some unconscious subhuman asswipe.
Like what? he says.
Nothing youd recognize, Rich. Really, save your brain cell for helping the
PE teachers pick up balls after your class. Maybe theyll let you keep a few of
them so youll have enough to figure out that a real hunter only murders adult
animals. Man, Ive got it going for these guys, more than I realized. I feel
snakebit every time Im around either of them.
You better be a little careful what you say to me, Jones, Marshall says.

2. By revealing the experienced protagonists thoughts, the narrator (there are


two answers)
a. Ridicules the intelligence of the football players
b. Lightens the tone of the story
c. Increases the tension of the story
d. Attacks the letter jacket system
3. Maybe theyll let you keep a few of them so youll have enough to figure out
that a real hunter only murders adult animals. - This sentence is an example
of which literary device?
a. Flashback
b. Foreshadowing
c. Irony
d. Exaggeration
4. I say Im glad he was able to get someone to read it to him. This is an
example of which literary device?
a. Irony
b. Flashback
c. Sarcasm
d. Allusion
5. Use your own words to explain or give synonyms for the following words from
the text.
a.
b.
c.
d.

Melodic
Stumbling
Intramural
Snakebit

6. Describe the narrator.


a. How does he spend his day? What objectives does he have and does he
succeed in his pursuits up to this point in the story? Why?
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b. Imagine you are the coach (Mr. Simet) who is helping TJ to present the
request for reasonable letter requirements at the Athletic Council
meeting. Write an email to a member of the council introducing TJ and

TJs case. How would you try to convince them to allow the swim team
to letter for a jacket? What letter requirements would you present? You
would get them to reward the letter based on what?
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7. What do you see as the most important points in the story? Why? Summarize
the story.
a. In fewer than 100 words
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b. In fewer than 10 statements (or bullet points).
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8. Who is TJs new houseguest?
a. Andy Mott
b. Georgia
c. Alicia Marshall
d. Heidi
For the next question, use the following text to choose the best option
to complete the sentence.
Most kids have that same initial response when they first lay eyes on Dad,
but hes great. He opens his Happy meal slowly, peers inside with the same
delight he sees on Heidis face. She is meticulously careful, extracting one fry at a
time, relishing each bite. Dad mimics her, but not in a disrespectful way, and
soon she is smiling at him, sneaking peeks out of the corner of her eye.
9. For each of the following, find a word or expression from the text that is
similar in meaning.
a. Imitate
b. Squints
c. Beginning
d. Withdrawing
e. Painstakingly
f. Delight in
g. Glance
10. What happens next in the story that involved french-fries, Heidi, and TJs
father? How does Heidis reaction to this event make you feel? How does TJs
fathers react and how does it make you feel?
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For the next question, use the following text to choose the best option
to complete the sentence.
Mom puts her hand on my knee and grips it hard enough that I feel heat.
Listen to me, T.J. You might be stronger and quicker now, but men like Rich are
relentless, and theyll come after you in ways you cant imagine. If he believes
youre taking something that belongs to him, hes as dangerous as they come. I
see men like him in court every day.
I say Im pretty familiar with the way Rich Marshall operates.
You think you are, but this is completely different from him shooting that
deer. That was just mean. When hes in this spot, hes desperate, which means he
imagines things, like you sleeping with Alicia. When he talks like that, he isnt
telling you what he thinks, hes telling you what he fears. One thing you want to
know about Rich Marshall is this: In his mind, what he fears is his worst enemy.
Anything that makes Rich Marshall feel weak will bring him at you like a devil. At
that point, it isnt about whether you can whip him, its about whether you see
him coming.
11. The above text is an example of which kind of literary device?
a. Flashback
b. Sarcasm
c. Foreshadowing
d. Irony
12. T.J. and his dad are talking about what happened to his father when he
realized he had accidentally killed a child. Because of that death, he is now
very protective of his children. Eventually, the two discuss whales, which leads
to the title of this book. As best as you can, explain how whale talk relates to
this book.
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13. Revisit your thoughts about the title of the book. Has the meaning changed?
Why?
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14. How did Andy Mott lose his leg?
a. Rot (Gangrene)
b. He was born with out the leg
c. A boating accident
d. A car accident
For the next question, use the following text to choose the best option
to complete the sentence.
My father once told me the perspective of an entire generation and of all
generations to follow changed in late 1968 when the early Apollo astronauts
came back with the first pictures of Earth as seen from the moon. It was the first
time most of us knew how finite things are here, he said. A beautiful blue-andwhite marble floating in a vast blackness; self-contained and totally dependent
upon our care of it. If we poisoned it with our waste, or filled it with dissension
and hate, we were pretty much locked in with it. From a physical point of view,
God appeared a long ways off.
I keep that picture taped on the inside of my locker at school, and on a
poster on the wall in my room at home, alongside another poster of an entire
galaxy being born as seen through the eyes of the Hubble telescope, alongside a
poster of an atom, because I like to have my mind bent in the way only time and

space can bend it. Are we huge or are we small? The distance between the protons
and neutrons of a given atom, relative to their size, are as great as the distance
between stars. If you were to look at each atom as a universe unto itself, think of
the number of universes within each of us; at the same time, look at any one of us
in the vast space I am seeing out the window of this bus, which is a molecule on a
cell on a flew on a hair on a wart of the known universe. And I think of the power,
the electricity, that dances between me and Carly, how the emotional part of that,
the connection, sometimes seems so big it cant be contained. How does that
compare with the power of a lightening bold, or of the nearly silent whisper of a
breeze? Are we big or are we small?
15. Are we big or are we small?
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* Extra Credit = Give me a definition for the literary device, Flashback.
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