By Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Why this book?
You’d have a hard time finding a funnier, more captivating first-person narrator than D.J. Swank. Growing up on her family’s farm, hoisting hay bales, and playing pick-up football with her brothers, it’s no wonder D.J. has the strength, ability, and desire to play on her high school’s football team. The two things I love most about this book are D.J.’s sheer joy in physical movement and Murdock’s depiction of how the hard work required to master sports skills can build self-confidence and a sense of achievement in young people. The characters are a bit older than those in most middle-grade books, but with nothing more controversial than the drinking of a beer, this is a book kids in the upper range of middle grade will love.
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