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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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.…

Dairy Queen: A Novel

by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Overall Book Review:

It’s easy to see why Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen is critically acclaimed. Readers will instantly fall for main character D.J., a fifteen-year old girl with a big heart and lots of spunk. The plot tackles several teenage issues including evolving friendships, high school and strained family relationships, but does so in a way that is both realistic and heartwarming.

Dairy Queen has some surprising twists, and with a stellar cast of secondary characters, makes for an engaging read. I especially loved D.J.’s hilarious voice and frequent laugh out loud lines. Dairy Queen is a great YA novel, as well as the beginning of a series!

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 19 religious exclamations; 9 mild obscenities; 6 religious profanities; 1 derogatory name; 1 anatomical term.


Sex/Nudity: Mention of a girl’s breasts; a few sexual references; reported sexual activity; brief reference/discussion referring to homosexuality.

Mature Subject Matter:

Underage drinking, homosexuality, family relationships

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Underage characters drink beers.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.