The farmer's daughter
The Off Season by Katherine Murdoch is the sequel to Dairy Queen (reviewed here) and it is just as good as the first book, although more serious. These young adult novels feature D. J. Schwenk, the football playing dairy farmer's daughter living in Red Bend, Wisconsin with her brother and parents.
D. J. is a junior and still playing on the football team. She is still seeing Brian, the quarterback at a rival school, though Brian is oddly reluctant to be seen with her in public. There are other problems too: the farm is struggling financially, her best friend Amber is gay and leaves home after a fight with her mother, and D.J. is injured in practice and is forced to choose between basketball and football. To further complicate matters, People Magazine appears on the scene to do a story about D.J.
These problems seem minor however, after D.J.'s brother Win suffers a serious spinal cord injury playing college football. D.J. is at his side during his rehabilitation.
We can see D.J. maturing in these two books as she tells her story. Teen and adults will enjoy getting to know this strong young woman. And they make great audiobooks, available on compact disc, or downloadable from Overdrive. Let's hope Murdoch has more adventures planned for D.J.