Dairy Queen S'more

By:Julia Z, Mackenzie H, Cassidy N, Olivia L, and Emma H

D.J's summer has been nothing but farm work. But what happens when she agrees to train her school's rival's quarterback? Find out in Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen!

About the Author By: Julia Zortman

Catherine Gilbert Murdock, was born and raised in a small Connecticut town. Reading books geared towards young adults has always been a passion of Catherine's, however writing them wasn’t her original career path. She first obtained a doctorate in American Civilization and wrote a book on prohibition. After attempting and struggling to be a screenwriter, she ultimately became confident enough try writing a fiction novel. The book, titled Dairy Queen, is one of first her major accomplishments. She has received many awards for that particular book. Some of which include the Borders Original Voices Award in 2006, the Great Lakes Booksellers Association award in 2007, and the Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award in 2008. The book Dairy Queen now has two sequels after it, The Offseason, and Front and Center. In addition to her successful Dairy Queen series, Catherine Gilbert Murdock has written many other stories and more in the making.

Dairy Queen Summary By: Emma Henkhaus

D.J. Schwenk, a Wisconsin farm girl, has never had anything interesting to say. Her life has been dreadfully uneventful. Then, one summer, that all changes, when Brian Nelson, her school’s rivals’ quarterback, shows up on her farm. And with him comes a lot of changes. D.J.’s best friend Amber grows jealous. Her dad becomes suspicious. Even her little brother Curtis, who wouldn’t talk to save his life, seems to be evolving. Then when D.J. agrees to train Brian, she learns something about herself that she never could have imagined. This is the summer that changes everything.
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Book Review

Dairy Queen is a book about a farm girl in Red Bend, Wisconsin named D.J. Schwenk and her summer of working all day on her family's farm. I found this book to be funny in some parts such as where D.J.’s family feels the need to show off to a teenager from a family that has it a bit better off. Dairy Queen also had me put everything that I know into perspective with just a few pages. This book also has some twists and turns that you may not even expect. While Dairy Queen is about D.J.’s summer, another huge component in this book is football. I know that girls and football do not generally mix. However, this book has somehow made it so that they do work. Dairy Queen has also added some classic football romance to make this a fantastic book worth reading.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

I would give Dairy Queen a 4 out of 5 stars because it has vocabulary that works for kids at about age 10 or above and it was an interesting take on life as a farmgirl.


“Thanks to D.J.’s folksy candor, Dairy Queen brims with charm and teenage angst.” - Entertainment Weekly online


“This is Romeo and Juliet in Wisconsin, with cows, but it’s more comic than tragic.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review

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Theme Mackenzie Haensgen- Keeping things bottled up only results in a bigger explosion.

In many cases throughout the novel, Dairy Queen, the main character D.J., doesn't have good communication with other people which ends up giving her a bigger problem than she already has.


“I really should have asked Dad if I could use it, but I sure didn't want to talk to him so instead I just took it.” (page #211)

- This proves my theme in that just because you don't want to talk to someone doesn't mean you should keep avoiding them in every way possible. That will just get you into more trouble in the long run. If D.J. had just talked to her dad about using the pickup truck, maybe they could have resolved the conflict there and then. Or at the least D.J. could have lessened the blow from her dad once he finds out that she is going to play football.


“We talked but we never talked like Talk Back talk. I’d wanted to tell her so much about all my thoughts about people being stuck in their roles like cows, but the minute I opened my mouth she just squashed me down.” (page #121)

- This proves that when you don't talk to someone and you let them do all of the talking, you don't really know what they are like. Without back and forth conversation you can't know how they respect other people. Therefore following the book's theme because D.J. didn't talk and it resulted in a huge consequence with her friend.


“You’re with me. You’re not with him. It’s the two of us. Don't you see that?” (page #169)

- This proves my theme in that since D.J. and her friend Amber had virtually no communication which resulted in a major misunderstanding. Amber thought that D.J. liked her as more than a friend. But in all reality, D.J. was really in love with Brian not Amber.

Cast of Characters by Cassidy N.