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Nick Hornby
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Erik Larson
Heavenly Hydrangeas: A Practical Guide for the Home Gardener
Joan Harrison
The Uninvited Guests
Sadie Jones
Dairy Queen - Catherine Gilbert Murdock Timing is everything. If I hadn't just finished reading Solace of the Roadwith its much grittier look at a teen's life, I may have rated this higher. It's pure fun and charmingly funny.It's maybe just a little too "plain vanilla". While DJ, our heroine, has her problems, they are of a kinder, gentler variety... doesn't know how to talk to her parents, has to work on the family farm, flunking English, older brothers are estranged, best friend is becoming distant, and she's crushing on the insensitive football jock working on the farm for the summer. Anyway, DJ struggles with her life and the direction it's headed, when she decides to try out for the boys' high school football team. Personally, I can't imagine wanting to a) play football or b) play on the boys team, but I'm no jock. I went to an all girls high school and there was a girls' football team although I recall it was something called "powder puff" football. Not sure what that entailed. I can't imagine any parent being enthused watching their daughter getting pummeled by a pile of teenage boys. Aside from these quibbles, it's a nicely told story, with a strong female protag, who can accomplish anything she sets out to do (possibly including getting the boy). Nothing wrong with that.

challenge: sports