Catherine Gilbert Murdock, , read by Natalie Moore. . Listening Library, $30 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-3547-5
If you ask15-year-old tomboy D.J. Schwenk, summer is off to a lousy start. But, since she's not real big on talking—and neither is anyone in her family—no one's likely to hear or understand her complaints. D.J. is saddled with all the chores at the Schwenk dairy farm while her father recuperates from an injury, her mother takes on extra work at the local school and her older, football-legend brothers stay away from home due to a family rift. Then Brian Nelson, the conceited quarterback from D.J.'s rival high school, is assigned by his coach (and Schwenk family friend) to help out on the farm. Sparks of all kinds, and cow pies, fly as D.J. and Brian eventually bond over work and football, and D.J. tries out for her own school's varsity team. Moore does an excellent job of mastering a natural, Midwestern accent that whisks listeners right to Wisconsin. She's wholly believable as a teenager struggling with attitudes about first love, friendship, gender and sexuality, self-confidence—and sports. Ages 12-up.
Reviewed on: 08/21/2006