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The Off Season    by Catherine Gilbert Murdock order for
Off Season
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Order:  USA  Can
Houghton Mifflin, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

It's D.J. Schwenk's junior year in high school and she's playing football for Red Bend. Her boyfriend Brian Nelson plays for their rival, Hawley High. D.J. is the first girl linebacker in upper Minnesota.

When D.J.'s shoulder is injured during practice, she's faced with a tough decision. Drop football so that she will be able to play basketball or finish the football season - which will very likely not allow her shoulder to heal properly and might make playing basketball impossible. Whatever decision she makes, she'll be letting people down.

D.J.'s brother Winn plays for Washington. She and her family are watching the game on TV when he sustains an injury that might paralyze him. They watch anxiously as Win is carried off the field. Her mother is ill and incapable of going to Washington and her dad a basket case. D.J. steps up and goes to Washington alone. She learns that whatever is thrown at her, she can handle - including an angry brother and having friends disappoint her.

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