Fifteen-year-old D.J Schwenck had a lot left unsaid and learned to say a lot in Dairy Queen, written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. In present time, Red Bend, Wisconsin a lot happens to D.J over summer vacation. She has a task assigned to her to train her school’s biggest archrivals football team’s player Brian Nelson. It was not easy for D.J since she was just a dumb farm girl. D.J didn’t give up and she learned a lot about herself.
D.J and her family live on her great-great grandfather’s farm that had been passed down to her father. D.Js father though is suffering with a hip problem so he can’t do the daily work needed to be done on the farm. D.J and her younger brother Curtis are the ones that do the work on the farm, but mainly just D.J. Curtis barely talks and when he does it’s only to D.J. She has brown long hair and is in shape since she does track, softball, and volleyball. D.J is failing English and she needs to write an essay to pass before school starts back up, but she realizes she has no time with the farm work she needs to do. She does not have many friends but a couple. D.J’s family is not a very open family and no one really talks about things that are going on. “It occurred to me, pulling into our driveway, that I wasn’t the only person in our family keep secrets.” In this quote D.J explains just how much her family doesn’t talk to each other. A family friend named Jimmy Ott asks D.J is she would like Brian Nelson to help her with the farm work she needs to do, since he needs to get in shape for football. Brian is a jock at Hawley High School, Red Bend’s biggest archrival. D.J ponders the whole idea but then agrees for Brian’s help. At first they don’t talk much, but slowly D.J realizes she is experiencing new feelings for Brian she has never felt for anyone else. After the summer training with Brian is over, D.J has a brilliant idea for herself and she pursues it, only for it to end with success!
This was a very well written novel. It’s in the view of a diary that D.J is writing. She writes the feelings she has and what she wants to say but does not say to Brian. I really enjoyed reading this story from the view of a teenaged girl and what she was thinking about throughout the whole story. The characters were well created also to fit into the story. D.J having a near mute brother, crippled father, and not talkative mother really gave the story a twist. Brian Nelson seemed to be a real jerk at first, but as the story went on that changed. The setting was interesting to. I never thought a book about a farm girl and her writing about her work on the farm each day would create such a good book as it did. I thought the plot of the story was very well done. A nobody farm girl turns into someone people value a lot in the end.
Dairy Queen was a very well written book. It’s one of those books you don’t want to put down and stop reading. It seems so realistic and happening as if you were there. I highly recommend this book, but to girls especially. Boys could read, it but I think girls would enjoy it better since it’s from a view of a young teenaged girl and her secret thoughts and feelings about Brian Nelson, a boy D.J starts to like. Girls who really like to think a lot though and are very shy should read this book and learn what happens when you don’t say what you really want to say.