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.
What I liked about Dairy Queen was that it seemed to defy what a teen girl might normally consider uninteresting in a plot line. A girl who works on her family farm (and spends most of the novel talking about what it's like to work on a dairy farm) decides to try out for the boys football team after spending the whole summer helping to train a player on her high school's rival team.
Farms and football? Not your usual teen-girl fare. But DJ Schwenk was just so darn likeable. She had a great deal of obvious flaws that even tended to get annoying throughout the course of the novel, but the entire time you never felt like she wasn't being real. You were rooting for her throughout the entire story.
And what made the novel even more pleasurable was the audiobook narrator, Natalie Moore, who sounded so much like DJ that you thought she WAS DJ. Right down to the impeccable Wisconsin accent.
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Published: May 2006 by Houghton Mifflin and Listening Library
Audiobook Length: 6 hours, 7 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Natalie Moore
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Audience: Young Adult