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Comment: Ex-Library Hardcover , heavy wear to book edges and cover , all the usual library marks and stickers
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The Off Season Hardcover – June 4, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Dairy Queen Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 7–10—This sequel to Murdock's Dairy Queen (Houghton, 2006) catches readers up with narrator D.J. Schwenk as she hits her stride in her junior year of high school. She's playing linebacker for her high school football team, hanging out with Brian (the rival high school's quarterback), earning passing grades, and pulling her weight on her family's struggling dairy farm. But "a whole herd of trouble" is coming her way. First, D.J. and, by extension, Brian become the unwitting subjects of a People magazine article. Then D.J. suffers a shoulder injury that threatens her sports career, her gay best friend runs away with an older girlfriend, and D.J. notices that Brian isn't too keen on being seen with her in public. These problems are all put into perspective when D.J.'s older brother, Win, suffers a serious spinal-cord injury during a college football game. D.J. stays by his side in the hospital, a task made even tougher by Win's refusal to communicate, and accompanies him to rehab in Minnesota. There's no too-tidy ending here; readers gain a sense of the wait-and-see and grueling nature of physical rehabilitation. Though not as laugh-out-loud funny as the earlier title, The Off Season depicts a believably maturing D.J., a young woman whose character shines through even as she struggles to find her voice. Readers will root for her at every tragicomic turn, and will hope to hear from her again in future novels.—Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This funny, touching follow-up to Dairy Queen (2006), a 2007 Best Book for Young Adults, succeeds whether read on its own or as a sequel. D. J.'s junior year starts off promisingly: she has finally been accepted as a valuable player on the football team, and Brian Nelson, quarterback for a rival school, is still coming around to see her. Storm clouds gather, though, as her close friend is bullied for being gay, money problems on the farm increase, and an injury forces D. J. to choose between football and basketball, which could net her a college scholarship. She also begins to wonder why Brian makes out with her but never wants to take her anywhere. Then brother Winn is seriously injured on the football field, forcing her to gain some much-needed perspective. D. J. is an easygoing, likable narrator, full of self-deprecating humor and insight, and her struggles, whether they are everyday or life altering, will resonate with teen audiences. Krista Hutley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1160L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (June 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618686959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618686957
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
D.J. Schwenk spends Labor Day at the neighbors' picnic, eating and playing a baseball game so funny that she literally falls down laughing. But the family's cows must be milked and fed, so the Schwenks leave early to tend to their dairy farm chores. At home Brian Nelson shows up, to D.J.'s delight. Brian helps with the cows, he and D.J. discuss their last football game (they play on opposing teams), and then there's a little awkward shuffling as he prepares to leave. D.J. remembers how they botched their one attempt to make out as Brian takes off.

When school starts, D.J. discovers that she is no longer invisible, thanks to the fact that she's the only girl on the football team. However, D.J. doesn't like the attention; she joined the squad to prove to herself that she was unique, not to become public property.

D.J. is thrilled when Brian calls to ask her to ride with him to Minneapolis over the weekend. But she turns him down for Saturday because her brothers play college football. Watching the games with her family is more important than anything else, so she's relieved when Brian suggests a Sunday trip. Their excursion ends with kissing so inflammatory that D.J. suddenly understands how easy it would be to "Do Anything Stupid" (which her mother constantly warns her against).

To her amazement, D.J. learns that the paparazzi are after her story. She doesn't want people accusing her of being a linebacker to get publicity. But maybe those reporters from People won't show up after all...

Meanwhile, kids at school begin hassling D.J.'s best friend Amber because of Amber's girlfriend. Amber starts cutting school, which is a total bummer for D.J. Next, D.J. is benched for "bullying" when she was actually defending a kid from a real bully.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm 37 years old and I'll read any age level as long as it's good. This is great. I love D.J. She's tough and decent and has a hilarious inner voice and is just a genuinely great person. At times she's given almost too much for a teenager to handle but she does it because there's no one else and at their core Schwenks go out there and get the job done.

But what's really great about DJ is that she's not perfect. She gets angry and resentful and bottles up her feelings and shoves her foot in her mouth and thinks selfish thoughts. In other words she's a real, relatable person. Her family and the supporting characters are all vividly drawn and believable. No one's a villain and no one's perfect, just like real life. These books made me snicker and they made me cry and they made me smile about remembering the feeling of first love.

I really recommend both Dairy Queen and The Off Season and I'm planning to send them to my nieces pronto because DJ's a pretty awesome role model.
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Format: Hardcover
Oof, this hits hard. "Off Season" is right. After a pretty positive reception in the previous book, with her joining the men's football team, D. J. finds her priorities rearranged after her older brother become paralyzed in the middle of a game. Suddenly, worries about the farm's finances and her own college future seem much more dire, with another member of the family to care for. And then add in nosy People reporters and her boyfriend's weird behavior in public...AND D. J.'s first openly gay relationship, and the reactions of the town to having a queer citizen....

This book is just about throwing drama after drama at D. J. and watching her try to react. It's a bit painful, at times, but the ending is still satisfying. Not everything is solved, but you get the feeling life is going to move on. And it does, in the next book, which has a much more satisfactory ending.

Overall, good, especially if you can find an audiobook version. I can't speak for the accuracy of D. J.'s accent in the audio version, but it sure sounded nice!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book hard to put down well written with characters you just relate to. You experience both laughs and tears right along with other strong emotions all the way through reading this great story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
3 1/2 stars...I loved This one almost as much as the first, but I absolutely hated Brian and the way he was in this book. Yes, eventually DJ realizes that she's basically his dirty little secret (I unfortunately figured this out WAY before DJ, and once she realized it it about tore my heart out), and this book is honestly about SO much more than just DJ and Brian, but the things that happen between them just made me want to spit fire.

Because of that I had to lower my rating a half star. I really loved the realization DJ came to by the end if the book and how basically a guy like Brian really doesn't deserve a girl like DJ. But I just have this really bad feeling that he is somehow going to come back in the last book. After what happened in this one, I want her to punch him in the face, but DJ being how she is, I can see her forgiving him for the way he acted. If that happens, fine, she can forgive him but I do not want her back together with him. If they end up together in the end I am going to be so freaking ticked off.

I have never read a character like DJ in all of the hundreds of books that I've read. I love her. I love her innocence. I love her work ethic. I love her gigantic heart and her willingness to sacrifice everything for her family. I love that she is crazy and brave enough to try out and then kill being on the football team with a bunch of high school boys. I love her hard edges, and more, her soft ones. All of these things, and also having such a real and sometimes hilariously comical perspective on everything going on around her. She is strong and she is also vulnerable.

Because of all of these things, I love her. And for all of these things that Brian is NOT, he does not deserve DJ in the least.
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