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Dairy Queenby Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Synopses & Reviews
When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D. J. can't help admitting, maybe he's right.
When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn't so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won't even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league.
When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.
"If you ask 15-year-old tomboy D.J. Schwenk, summer is off to a lousy start. But, since she's not real big on talking and neither is anyone in her family no one's likely to hear or understand her complaints. D.J. is saddled with all the chores at the Schwenk dairy farm while her father recuperates from an injury, her mother takes on extra work at the local school and her older, football-legend brothers stay away from home due to a family rift. Then Brian Nelson, the conceited quarterback from D.J.'s rival high school, is assigned by his coach (and Schwenk family friend) to help out on the farm. Sparks of all kinds, and cow pies, fly as D.J. and Brian eventually bond over work and football, and D.J. tries out for her own school's varsity team. Moore does an excellent job of mastering a natural, Midwestern accent that whisks listeners right to Wisconsin. She's wholly believable as a teenager struggling with attitudes about first love, friendship, gender and sexuality, self-confidence and sports. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Readers will learn a lot about sports and farming but more about taking charge of oneself." VOYA
"This is a highly readable novel with interesting characters and a valuable theme of learning to express emotions and reach out to others." KLIATT
"[As] enjoyable as any treat from the real DQ." School Library Journal
Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether its to go to school or on a date, people dont venture out of their home. Theres really no need. For the most part, Maddies okay with the solitary, digital lifeuntil she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People arent meant to be alone, he tells her. Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside hera feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking. In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.
In the year 2060, everything is done digitally. Kids no longer go to schools. They stay home and take classes online. Adults work from home, too. Even dating is no longer done in person. Why walk on a real beach when you can stroll down a digitally remastered one instead? No bad weather, no seagulls, nothing real to ruin a perfectly fine time.
Though she's grown up in this digital world, something about being cut off from everyone doesn't sit right with seventeen-year-old Madeline. Her favorite activity--the only one she does off line--is soccer. She likes the physicality of it and the comradery with the other girls.
Then she meets Justin. He, too, prefers life off line. It's all he talks about. He even takes her out to a real coffee shop and an underground club. Maybe it's his attentiveness, or the physical closeness of actually being with someone, or just that he's very good looking, Madie is definitely drawn to him. But there's also something very aloof about him, like perhaps he's hiding something.
When Madie uncovers the truth, she's faced with the question: What's more important, fighting for what you believe in or love?
About the Author
Though she never played high school football or milked cows, Catherine Gilbert Murdock is a big fan of family farms and Wisconsin. She herself grew up on a tiny farm (two goats and honeybees) in Connecticut, and attended Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania. She now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, two children, and Sparky the cat. Dairy Queen is her first novel.
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