Synopses & Reviews
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?
"The main character is likable
[She] has qualities uniquely her own...readers can relate to, sympathize with and ultimately admire.” Starred KLIATT
"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. 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." —Booklist,
"More ambitious and wide-ranging than its prequel, The Off Season provides an insightful glimpse into the rewards and challenges of the culture of middle-American farm families. At the same time, it's a broad-strokes portrait of a quintessential tomboy. D.J.'s voice is all her own--strong-minded but insecure, unstructured but witty, practical but emotional--and she is easy to cheer for, whether she's accosting a bully or awkwardly trying to understand the people and relationships that so often confuse her." —Horn Book
"Though D.J. is an enormously likable character, the impact of this book is carried through the action.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The main character is likable…[She] has qualities uniquely her own that readers can relate to, sympathize with and ultimately admire.” —KLIATT
"D.J.'s self-deprecating, down-to-earth voice will draw readers in, even if they have yet to read 'Dairy Queen'." —Minn. StarTribune
"There is action as well as introspection in this story of overcoming adversity...attracting and inspiring...Murdock has another winner." —VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"The tragicomedy is powerful." —Columbus Dispatch
Life is looking up for D. J. Schwenk, star of Dairy Queen. Shes made it to eleventh grade, shes reconnecting with her best friend, and shes got a thing going with Brian Nelson. But best of all, shes playing for the Red Bend High School football teamas the first female linebacker in northern Wisconsin.
But then the season goes suddenly, horribly wrong: her brother Win is put into the hospital after getting a devastating injury during a game. Once again, D.J. is forced to step up and be there for her family. Its a heavy burden, even for D.J.s strong shoulders. Shell have to dig deeper than shes ever had to before.
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.
D. J. Schwenk has made it to eleventh grade and become the first female linebacker in northern Wisconsin. But when the season goes suddenly, horribly wrong, shell have to dig deeper than shes ever had to before.
Life is looking up for D.J. Schwenk. Shes in eleventh grade, finally. After a rocky summer, shes reconnecting in a big way with her best friend, Amber. Shes got kind of a thing going with Brian Nelson, whos cute and popular and smart but seems to like her anyway. And then theres the fact shes starting for the Red Bend High School football team—the first girl linebacker in northern Wisconsin, probably. Which just shows you cant predict the future. As autumn progresses, D.J. struggles to understand Amber, Schwenk Farm, her relationship with Brian, and most of all her family. As a whole herd of trouble comes her way, she discovers shes a lot stronger than she—or anyone—ever thought.
This hilarious, heartbreaking and triumphant sequel to the critically acclaimed Dairy Queen takes D.J. and all the Schwenks from Labor Day to a Thanksgiving football game that you will never forget.
About the Author
Catherine Murdock grew up on a small farm in Connecticut and now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, two brilliant unicycling children, several cats, and a one-acre yard that she is slowly transforming into a wee, but flourishing ecosystem. She is the author of several books, including the popular Dairy Queen series starring lovable heroine D. J. Schwenk, Princess Ben, and Wisdom's Kiss.