professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Moo Who?

Based solely on the cover art and the title, this book should fly off the shelves in my neck of the woods. DAIRY QUEEN, A NOVEL by Catherine Murdock features a cow with a tiara on the cover along with a nice blurb by Jackie Moriarty endorsing the novel. Even without those features, DAIRY QUEEN is certain to find lots of eager readers. DJ faces a summer of tending to the cows: milking, cleaning, haying, and then more of the same day after day. Ever since Dad injured his hip, DJ’s day have been relegated to the barn and the fields. Her older brothers are away at college; younger brother Curtis is busy playing ball. When the football coach from the rival high school asks DJ to help his new quarterback get into shape, she reluctantly agrees. What’s the worse that could happen? So, Brian arrives bright and early to begin his training, almost as excited as DJ at the prospect. Over the course of the summer, DJ and Brian reach an uneasy truce and a natural rhythm in their training routine. DJ decides at the end of the summer that trying out for the football team is something she needs to do. How will this complicate an already complicated life? Murdock’s novel has many surprises in store for readers.

It is refreshing to find a book about a female athlete not focused simply on ability and talent but on the whole enchilada. It is not enough for DJ (or Brian for that matter) to train their bodies; it is also their character and mental discipline that will see them through the tough times. Murdock throws DJ quite a few curves (to borrow a metaphor from another sport). Sometimes DJ swings and misses and sometimes she connects. This realistic book offers no quick fixes, just some hope that things will be better for DJ down the road.

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