Dairy Queen

December 8, 2008
By Geoffrey Thomason, Chapel Hill, NC

Football is a boy’s game. Not meant for girls. Or is it? D.J. Schwenk, an ordinary farm girl, has come along to do what no one thought could be done: she’s going out for the high school football team. Catherine Gilbert Murdock, the author of this insightful novel, has probably left you thinking, “She’s crazy. There is no way she is tough enough to get tackled by a bunch of high school boys!” She’s used to it. Both of her older brothers are off playing college ball somewhere. The younger of the two brothers played linebacker, and used D.J. as his tackling dummy to practice.
D.J. knows that if she wants to hang with the big-dogs, and start in the fall, she has to get in shape. Not only is D.J. training, she’s training with Brian Nelson; the starting quarterback for the cross town rival high school. Not only does Brian have a great arm, but he’s way out of D.J.’s league. As the book progresses, D.J. finds herself falling more and more for Brian. She knows she can’t tell him that she’s going out for football, or else he’ll never speak to her again. Throughout the book, D.J. has to find her inner voice in order to bring her family back together. Brian and Amber try to help D.J. find courage and speak up for her self. Her opinion should matter just as much as anyone else’s.
Dairy Queen has many enjoyable characteristics including an easy-to-follow plot. I could really feel D.J.’s emotions no matter what it was. If it was sad, mad, happy or incredibly excited, I could always tell. Murdock did a wonderful job with the dialogue, too. There was plenty of it and it was great. Visualizing what was going on was a piece of cake. I could clearly see D.J. sitting on the log at the party with her friends. I could also easily see her working in the barn or on the fields. The pace of this book was perfect. It didn’t skip too much, but it didn’t linger too much on one scene.
This book is simply fantastic. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

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