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The Off Season (Dairy Queen #2)
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 12 and up
PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2007
NO. PAGES: 288
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction, Sports Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Female
SERIES: Dairy Queen
PREQUEL: Dairy Queen
SEQUEL: Front and Center (Dairy Queen #3)
AWARD{S}:
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
Kirkus Reviews - Best Young Adult or Starred Review
ISBN: 0618686959
READ & REVIEWED BY: Tiffany - StorySnoop


The Story
The Off Season (Dairy Queen #2)—Book Review

D.J. Schwenk's story continues and we find her playing linebacker for the varsity football team and enjoying a relationship with Brian Nelson. Life gets complicated when D.J. separates her shoulder in a football injury and must choose between playing football and her future prospects as a basketball player and its accompanying scholarships. This decision becomes small potatoes when her older brother Win suffers a severe spinal cord injury in a college football game. As the only family member able hold it together and travel to him, D.J. leaves everything behind and steps up to shoulder the burden and help her family through this trying time.
The Scoop
The Off Season (Dairy Queen #2)—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

D.J. is back and as strong, responsible, and courageous as ever. The Off Season does deal with some serious issues -- financial strain, spinal cord injury, homosexuality, life-changing decisions -- but handles them with wit and humor. The Schwenk family is somewhat dysfunctional and non-communicative, but very caring underneath it all. Kissing and making out occur, and language is mild (g-dd-mmit). Underage drinking takes place on several occasions. A character is kicked out of her home when her mother discovers her homosexuality, though the reconciliation process begins at the end of the story. The bond between siblings is central to the storyline, and even though they don't always know how to talk to one another, they know how to support one another when needed. Much of the story revolves around spinal cord injury, rehabilitation for such, and adjusting to life with a physical handicap. Fans of this series will look forward to the next book, Front and Center.
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The Off Season (Dairy Queen #2)—Book Review

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