5 of 12 for the 2008 Young Adult Challenge
D.J., the 16 year old Dairy Queen, lives on a farm in Wisconsin. Her family is football obsessed, communicationally-challenged and due to various circumstances, she ends up essentially running her family's farm. When a football player from across town is reeled into helping her out, things get complicated. D.J., with a splendidly real and witty voice, ends up spending much of her time making sense of her family's issues and falling for said football player, not to mention gearing up to play some football of her own.
Even as a certified non-football fan, this book grabbed me and I read it in about three hours. D.J.'s struggle to work through actually talking to her family about things that are important (and even all the other stuff too) really resonated with me. Her conversations with Oprah, that she has in her head, are therapy for any teenager trying to survive in a family.
Seriously, if you like YA, go get this book.