Murdock Catherine Gilbert. Dairy Queen.(2006)
Reading this on vacation, I enjoyed it very much, but I think I was right not to buy it originally-- it's more of a high school book. Not that there is anything inappropriate; it's just more introspective and philosophical.However, it ended up on the Battle of the Books list, so I had to buy a copy. D.J. is working hard on the farm since her two oldest brothers are away at college, her younger brother is busy with sports, her father has been injured, and her mother is working two jobs. A friend and coach of a rival football team sends one of his players, Brian, to help out and also to train with D.J., since she helped train her brothers. Things get complicated when D.J. not only decides she likes Brian, but she wants to play high school football. A secondary story about her best friend who turns out to be gay was rather interesting, but in general, I don't see many of my students picking this book up.
Nelson, Jandy. The Sky is Everywhere.
Then there's this one, that I picked up at a book look and made the mistake of processing before readiing it. Sigh. Off to the high school it goes, for multiple f-bombs, teen drinking, and general, erm, friskiness. A shame, really, because it was a very good book. Lennie's sister Bailey dies suddenly, leaving her bereft. She takes comfort in the presence of Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, but also has a growing interest in the new clarinet player, Joe. The feeling of loss throughout the book is palpable-- Lennie's mother ran off when she was very young, and the girls were being raised by their grandmother. Did very much enjoy the depiction of Lennie falling in love, but this is definitely a book for grades nine and up.
Ostow, Michol and Harlan, Noah. Up Over Down Under.
The Students Across the Seven Seas books are always such fun, and this is two stories in one-- Eliza goes from the US to Australia to live with Bailey's family. Bailey goes to the US to stay with Eliza's, and both are working on environmental internships. Eliza went just to get away from the shadow of her father, who is with the EPA, but Bailey wants to make a real change in the world. Of course, both find romance and get to experience life in another country. For US students who have never been to DC, this is a great book because it describes two different places to travel.