Reviews of The Off Season

The Off Season depicts a believably maturing D.J., a young woman whose character shines through even as she struggles to find her voice. Readers will root for her at every tragicomic turn, and will hope to hear from her again in future novels.”

- School Library Journal (starred review)

"Her story reads like a letter from an old friend."

- Parade

“There are no stock characters in this book: each person is fully realized, with foibles and strengths, and D. J. herself is a joy.”

- Books For Kids

“I liked Dairy Queen; I really liked it. But I loved The Off Season.”

- Becky’s Book Reviews

“Another winner.”

- Hypothetically Speaking

“This funny, touching follow-up to Dairy Queen (2006), a 2007 Best Book for Young Adults, succeeds whether read on its own or as a sequel.”

- Booklist

"Heartwrenching and hilarious."

- Columbus Dispatch

“A great testament to strength of character. For all that she thinks she's not all that much, we could all stand to have a little D.J. in us.”


"I have high praise for this book because it made me run 6 miles. . . [D.J.] doesn't really have anything in common with me, but Catherine Murdock gets into her head and heart and makes me care so much about her that I feel like I am her while I'm reading."

- OMS Book Blog

“This book should be on every young woman’s bookshelf.”

- Armchair Interviews

“Spending time in such an outstandingly level teenage head was a rare and rewarding experience.”

- WordCandy

“More ambitious and wide-ranging than its prequel, The Off Season provides an insightful glimpse into the rewards and challenges of the culture of middle-American farm families. . . . D.J.'s voice is all her own – strong-minded but insecure, unstructured but witty, practical but emotional – and she is easy to cheer for.”

- Horn Book

“D.J.’s personality is thoroughly endearing, and the choices she makes as she grapples with her future are both hard and deeply felt.”

- Kirkus

“Fans of the first book will again find D.J. a companionable narrator, wryly pondering her relationship with Brian, as well as her obligations to her family and – most importantly – to herself.”

- Publishers Weekly

“No-nonsense and just enough aware of her own failings, D.J. is a splendid narrator and it's good to have her back.”

- Sacramento Bee

“Highly, highly recommended for young adult and adult readers.”

- Jen Robinson’s Book Page

“Big issues in a funny package.”

- New England Children’s Bookselling Advisory Council

“A great read.”

- Richie’s Picks

"As much as I enjoyed the first half of the book, once I hit the gut-twisting middle, I just could not put it down. THE OFF SEASON is a total winner."


“My students fell in love with Dale, and they are clamoring for more of her! How can you not love someone who travels around in a truck camper and lives for barbeque competitions! C’mon!!!”

- Worth the Trip

I highly recommend both Dairy Queen and The Off Season, whether you’re sixteen or just feel like it sometimes on the inside."

- Long and Short Reviews

"If you can easily set this one down, you’re a stronger person than I."

- Allen County Public Library

Reader Reviews on Amazon >>

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All my friends and I read your book & we loved it, & a few girls wanted to go out for football because of your book, but they decided that they know hardly anything about it and wouldn’t know how to put the gear on.

  1. -Hailey

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