Questions on The Off Season

•  Have you read Dairy Queen? (If you haven’t, go get it! Quick!)

•  At the end of Dairy Queen, what did you think would happen next? How does The Off Season compare to your expectations?

•  Many characters in The Off Season face tough decisions, decisions made all the more painful by the expectations of the community, or the expectations they believe the community holds. How important do you think community expectations are – in their decisions, and in your own life?

•  In the second half of The Off Season, D.J. is separated from her parents during an enormously trying time. How would her experience have changed if they were with her? How would you react in her situation?

•  At the end of the first chapter of The Off Season, D.J. says that her description of the Jorgensens’ Labor Day picnic “doesn’t have much to do with anything” in the rest of the book. Do you think that’s true? Why or why not?

•  D.J. and Brian clearly have a complex relationship. How does D.J.’s opinion of Brian evolve over the course of The Off Season? What would you do in D.J.’s situation? In Brian’s? Do you agree or disagree with D.J.’s ultimate feelings about him?

•  Amber and Dale also have a complicated relationship. How does it differ from Brian and D.J.’s? What makes their relationship more successful? How would you react if Amber attended your school?

•  The Off Season describes the family’s financial difficulties. Do you think Schwenk Farm will succeed?

•  Why is Win’s injury – a rarity in football – included in The Off Season? How does his injury change D.J.? What would his recovery be like if D.J. weren’t there?

•  Curtis spends much of the book getting in trouble and keeping secrets. What did you think he was doing? Do you think his secrecy is justified? How would you handle such a situation if you were Curtis? If you were one of his classmates?

Chapter One   •   listen to an interview   •   about the book  

Thank you for writing Dairy Queen! Why does your book speak to me?  Easy--I am a veteran teacher, going back to school for a second master's in library-media science, a wife, a mother of three boys (who play football)--see, it is all in there. I will be heading down to the library later today to get Off Season---sleeping tonight is not necessary, finding out what happens next with D.J is!


  1. -Shanda--your newest fan :)

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