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Dairy Queen Hardcover – May 22, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
A family friend, the football coach of the rival high school, sends one of his star players to help out on the Schwenk's farm. Brian Nelson has a great arm, but has been spoiled by his father, and doesn't have much discipline or team spirit. Before she quite knows what's happening, D.J. agrees to train Brian, to help him get ready for the fall season. They have to keep this a secret, because the towns are such strong rivals, and Brian ends up helping out on the farm quite a bit as camouflage for what they're really doing. After a prickly start, Brian and D.J. learn to talk to one another openly, and both grow as a result.
The story is told in D.J.'s first-person voice, which is necessary, because she's so quiet that we could never get to know her in third person. But inside her head, D.J. has a lot to say, and a thoughtful, sometimes sarcastic, voice. Here are a few examples:
"If there ever was a TV show called People Who Are Crazy and Need to Have Their Heads Examined, I'd be the very first guest.Read more ›
The first-person point of view provides an intimate, even folksy bit of country charm. Murdock keeps it clean, too, choosing to make this much more than a farm girl-meets-privileged boy tale by highlighting the strange family dynamics of the Schwenks. Like many of us, this family has its secrets. For example, sons Bill and Win, who have left the nest (OK, farm), are not talking to the dad; the youngest boy, Curtis, is not much talking to ANYone; and nobody seems to know how to talk the words "I'm sorry" to each other.
D.J.'s curmudgeonly dad can no longer run the dairy due to physical limitations and her mom is subbing as the principal at a local school. That leaves D.J. and Curtis to milk the cows and run the farm. When archrival Hawley's coach (a good friend of D.J.'s dad) sends quarterback Brian Nelson to the farm to work, D.J. falls udderly in love and takes on the improbable (and some readers might complain, unbelievable) role of Brian's personal trainer.
The Brian-D.J. relationship takes front seat, but D.J.'s place in her family is equally compelling. Then there's her best friend Amber. More secrets. (And you thought life was all cheeseheads and sausages in Wisconsin. Who knew?Read more ›
During the summer, she has to help train Brian, the quarterback for the rival high school's football team, as a favor to the coach, a longtime friend of her father's. D.J. does so reluctantly at first, only to strike up a friendship with him -- and realize how much she herself enjoys the game. So much so that she decides to go out for the team when the school year starts back up again.
Though this book has been strongly received by sports fans, please note that there's more to this story than just football. It is also about family. It is about growing up on a farm, about growing up in a small town, and simply about growing up. Though D.J.'s family members don't talk or emote very much, they are everpresent: the farm and her father are always on her mind, and she misses her brothers in fits and starts. D.J. is also going through a rough patch with her long-time best friend, Amber, and almost doesn't believe it herself when the two girls argue and drift apart. She's got a lot on her plate, and if she doesn't balance it correctly, she may have to drop something and disappoint her family and herself.
Catherine Murdock's debut novel won over readers. It was followed up a sequel entitled The Off-Season. D.J.'s fans should also check out the corny-but-cute made-for-television movie Quarterback Princess starring Helen Hunt.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is such an adorable book. The other reviewers really nailed it. DJ is adorable and real. Going to college in Iowa I met a lot of Wisconsonians and I would peg the narrator... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lowly Peon
I loved everything about this book. The main character is so relatable and the love story is so captivating. Read morePublished 3 months ago
Dairy Queen has been on my to be read list for a while now (my writer friends all raved about it). This trilogy is more appropriate at the high school level than the middle school... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie
After plowing through some 30 YA books, I finally ran into this one that is intelligent and insightful! I think most Kindle books should be banned because they suck so bad! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Professor May
Hated it. Couldn't finish it. The main character was not likable and I have no desire to read someone's pity party.Published 6 months ago by obsessed reader
I liked the book. It is a really good sports book. I recommend it a lot. I chose the rating because the book is fantasticPublished 8 months ago by Dr. RM
It's sweet. Innocent. Thoughtful. A great mix of surface and depth. So much have me a smile as I read. Read morePublished 8 months ago by thenley
Dairy Queen, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is an interesting novel about a 15 year-old girl, named Darlene Joyce or DJ for short. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Aubrey Lavigne
I love this book, after reading it I bought the 2nd one in the series.Published 11 months ago by P. Lane