Books by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

THE BOOK OF BOY by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Blend epic adventure with gothic good and evil, and add a dash of sly wit for a tale that keeps readers turning the page, shaking their heads, and feeling the power of choice. (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
Light and darkness have never clashed with such fierce majesty and eloquent damnation. Read full book review >
HEAVEN IS PAVED WITH OREOS by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"Fans of the trilogy will be delighted to revisit both the Schwenks and Red Bend, Wisc. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Fourteen-year-old Sarah discovers first love and family secrets in this sweet-as-a-cookie Dairy Queen companion for slightly younger readers. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 2011

"If not quite the sumptuous banquet anticipated, the novel still makes a satisfying, tasty treat. (glossary of terms) (Fantasy. 10 & up)"
From the author of the Dairy Queen series comes this ebullient fairy tale, set in a vaguely Teutonic empire of small baronies, duchies and kingdoms. Read full book review >
FRONT AND CENTER by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

D.J. Schwenk returns for her third and final outing, this time heating up not the football field but the basketball court. Having ended her relationship with Brian Nelson, she takes up with buddy Beaner, although she wonders where the sparks are—and why Brian keeps showing up in her barn. Her bigger concern, though, is college. She's a serious prospect: Her coach has recruiters all over her, her meddling brother Win tells her what to do from his wheelchair and the entire town of Red Bend seems to be rooting for her. But D.J. isn't sure she can take the Division I pressure. Her coach tells her she needs to show leadership, and she's trying, but leadership involves communication, something Schwenks don't do well. Like The Off Season (2007), this lacks the freshness of Dairy Queen (2006), and D.J.'s deliciously quirky family takes a disappointing back seat to her internal wheel-spinning. Still, although there are fewer belly laughs, readers have grown so fond of D.J., they'll be happy just watching her muddle through. (Fiction. 12 & up)Read full book review >
PRINCESS BEN by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Released: May 5, 2008

Princess Benevolence isn't a run-of-the-mill spoiled princess. Ben doesn't want to live in the royal castle wearing beautiful dresses. She'd rather sulk in her family apartments over the barracks, staying a scruffy, indulged ragamuffin. But Ben's parents are ambushed, leaving her, now the heir to the throne, in the care of her haughty aunt, the regent queen Sophia. Sophia is cold and loveless, determined to mold Ben into a marriageable princess. Ben's aunt starves her to make her willowy, forces her to take dance lessons to make her graceful and locks her in a barren bedroom cell to break her spirit. When she discovers a hidden door in her bleak bedroom, she throws herself into the task of learning magic. Maybe witchcraft will provide escape from Sophia, salvation from marriage and vengeance for her parents' deaths? Ben's coming-of-age fits well into a now-common fantasy mold: She grows into a self-reliant heroine, kicking butt while acquiring social graces on her own terms, saving the kingdom and the handsome prince—she's a fairy-tale princess for the modern girl. An amusing, heartwarming adventure put forth in richly flavored prose. (Fantasy. 11-13)Read full book review >
THE OFF SEASON by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Released: June 4, 2007

D.J. Schwenk, the first girl linebacker on the Red Bend High football team, returns to tell the story of her first season. Having spent the summer training—and falling for—the rival school's quarterback, it's bound to be an exciting one. But when first she and then her brother, starting QB for the University of Washington, are injured, gridiron success and romance take a back seat to pure survival. The looming failure of the Schwenks' dairy farm comes to the fore, and D.J. realizes that a highly uncertain future lies before her. D.J.'s self-deprecating voice is just as distinct in this outing as in Murdock's debut, Dairy Queen (2006), and the supporting characters, particularly her very quirky family, just as vivid. If this offering suffers somewhat from both sequel-itis and a diffusion of energy resulting from D.J.'s removal from the farm to assist in her brother's recuperation, readers will forgive easily. D.J.'s personality is thoroughly endearing, and the choices she makes as she grapples with her future are both hard and deeply felt. Readers will root for both D.J. and a third installment with equal vigor. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
DAIRY QUEEN by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Released: May 22, 2006

A painfully funny novel takes readers into the head of D.J. Schwenk, frustrated dairy farmer-cum-football trainer-cum-star linebacker. D.J. comes from a football family: Her two older brothers were legends in high school; her father used to coach. But ever since her father took out his hip, the responsibility for the farm has fallen on her shoulders, causing her to quit basketball and track and to fail sophomore English. When a family friend who coaches the rival team sends her his cocky quarterback for training over the course of one grueling summer, she learns more about her own capabilities and desires than she thought possible. This sounds like any other coming-of-age novel, but D.J.'s voice is hilariously introspective, the revelation that she lives life like a cow—"I just did what my parents told me, and my coaches, and [my friend], and [my dog] even. . . . I was nothing but a cow on two legs"—guiding both D.J. and readers through her growing friendship with the obnoxious quarterback and her decision to do the unexpected: play football. A fresh teen voice, great football action and cows—this novel rocks. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >