I recently finished reading Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. The novel is fantastic, engaging, and intelligent. Crutcher takes something as simple as a swim team and turns it into a lesson on bullying, racism, regret, rape, special needs, and compassion. In accordance with connecting to a young adult's world, Crutcher uses certain profanities and customary word choices in order to achieve a sense of realism, without which a reader can easily feel that something is missing. Apparently those who wish to challenge and remove the book based on racial slurs and profanity have never heard of context. What is a book about racism if racism is not included? I will let you read the book for yourselves and see if you think it's inappropriate. I, for one, do not.
Author: Crutcher, Chris
Title: Whale Talk
Removed from all five Limestone County, Ala. high school libraries (2005) because of the book’s use of profanity. Removed from the suggested reading list for a pilot English-literature curriculum by the superintendent of the South Carolina Board of Education (2005). Challenged at the Grand Ledge, Mich. High School (2005).Challenged at the Missouri Valley, Iowa High School (2007) because the book uses racial slurs and profanity. Challenged as an optional reading in a bullying unit at the Lake Oswego, Oreg. Junior High School (2007) because the novel is "peppered with profanities, ranging from derogatory slang terms to sexual encounters and violence." Students are given a list of book summaries and a letter to take to their parents. Four of the eight optional books offered are labeled as having "mature content/language."
Source: Books Banned or Challenged in 2007-2009, Robert P. Doyle