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FRONT AND CENTER by Catherine Gilbert Murdock


From the Dairy Queen series, volume 3

by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-618-95982-2
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

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)