Title: Dairy Queen
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Number of Pages: 288
Advertised Age Level: Young Adult
Age and Grade of Main Character(s): 15 yrs./post-Sophomore summer
Language: no profanity
Drug/Alcohol Use: teens consume beer
Social Issues: first love, family dysfunction, lesbianism
Suggested Movie Grade: PG
Premise: 15-year old D.J. Schwenk carries an adult’s burdens. Her older bothers off at college and estranged from the family, she’s the only one capable of keeping the family dairy farm running after her father injures his hip. Her days are consumed by the chores of running the farm, so much so that she’s forced to quit the sporting teams she loves and even fails her English class when she can’t make the time to get her assignments done. All of this is bad enough, but her close-mouthed, demanding father seems to take it all for granted.
When the quarterback from the rival school’s football team shows up at the farm, ostensibly to help a hand in exchange for some football training by D.J., she’s at first reluctant. But over the course of the summer, she discovers the way to give voice to her inner thoughts. Her feelings for Brian develop into a full blown crush, and a spark of an idea fills her with hope: she determines to join her own high school’s football team. For once in her life, she’s going to do what will make her happy instead of what’s expected of her.
Comments: D.J. learns that her best friend, Amber, is homosexual and has feelings for D.J. D.J. herself does not return those feelings, instead developing a crush on Brian, and this causes a falling out between the two girls.
Age Appropriateness: ages 11 and up