Kristie Kannaley
RR for Whale Talk

Directions: Create a list of songs that could be compiled into a CD as a reflection of the novel Whale Talk. After you list the songs, explain why you chose each of them in relation to the novel. Be creative, and use specific examples. Please list 10 tracks.

Mermen Workout CD Mix

Track 1: “Monster” by Skillet
Track 2: “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
Track 3: “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” by various artists
Track 4: “Come as you Are” by Nirvana
Track 5: “ I’ll be There for You” by The Rembrandts
Track 6: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles
Track 7: “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.
Track 8: “Hazard to Myself” by Pink
Track 9: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Track 10: “Macho Man” by The Village People


Track 1: I decided to choose this format for my Reader’s Response when I heard this song on the radio. The lyrics talk about a person who feels like a monster yet keeps it hidden from others. It immediately made me think of Rich, since he abuses Heidi, yet very few people seem to know because he does so privately. He is a monster on the inside, but he tries to make himself look like a good guy who is just trying to help the school with the football program.

Track 2: This is one of this classic songs that reminds you to believe in yourself and try your best to reach your goals. It makes me think of T.J.’s persistent attitude about helping the team get letter jackets. Even though the athletic counsel was working directly against him, he kept trying to find different ways around them.

Track 3: I chose this song to represent Chris. It is noted several times in the novel that he enjoys listening to Christmas music, but I picked this particular song because I think it relates Chris’s innocence. He is good natured and never wishes anything bad upon others, even those who pick on him. Overall, he is a well-wishing, loyal character.

Track 4: This song is representative of the book because it relates to the Mermen team. They are made up of a bunch of “outcasts” who have different kinds of disabilities, such as physical impairments, mild mental retardation, and histories that haunt them. Even though a lot of the players have issues, T.J. is eager to take them on the team “as they are.”

Track 5: I chose the theme song from Friends because it describes the relationships the boys developed on the bus rides to the swim meets. At first, they were hesitant to expose themselves, but after a while, they began to talk about some of the hardships of their lives. They were “there” for each other in the sense that they listened without passing judgment.

Track 6: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” makes me think of the relationship between T.J. and Carly because it is a simple song. T.J. mentions that Carly is a very low-maintenance girlfriend who does not require much time or attention, and he seems to really care about her. The song represents the simplicity of only wanting to hold someone else’s hand and not really asking for anything else.

Track 7: I chose this song to represent T.J.’s dad and his reaction to accidentally running over Tyler. Sometimes, T.J.’s dad gets really upset about the incident and wants to be by himself. Although he dips into periods of depression, he states that he would have killed himself a long time ago if he was going to do so. Even though he struggles, he knows that it is important to keep going and to try to help better the world.

Track 8: The song “Hazard to Myself” makes me think of Heidi because she has a very low self-esteem due to the abuse she suffers from her stepfather. She believes that she is inferior due to her skin color and even tries to scrub the “darkness” off of herself. Additionally, she is frustrated with herself because she just wants Rich to care about her like he cares about her brothers.

Track 9: This song describes the swimmers’ requirement of beating their times each time they raced to earn the letter jackets because they only had “one opportunity” to beat their scores each time. If they did not beat the scores by only a second for only one race, they would not be eligible to letter.

Track 10: This song represents one of the goals of most of the mermen, which was to become more athletically built. The boys tried to reach their goal by working out at the aquatic center for hours. They would swim and lift weights to try to tone their bodies.