Front and Center

By Catherine Gilbert Murdock
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618959822, 272pp.)

Publication Date: October 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Winter 2009 Kids' List
“This is the third and final book in the trilogy started with Dairy Queen and continued in The Off Season. This time D.J. Schwenk spends her junior year in high school dealing with basketball, boys and the Big Ten, not necessarily in that order! Itís fun to watch D.J. during her junior year and how she perseveres over her various challenges and develops the courage to make difficult decisions.”
-- Carl Wichman, NDSU Bookstore, Fargo, ND


After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I’m always in the background . . .
But it turns out other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who’s keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is done with, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway . . . Readers first fell in love with straight-talking D. J. Schwenk in Dairy Queen; they followed her ups and downs both on and off the court in The Off Season. Now D. J.steps out from behind the free-throw line in this final installment of the Dairy Queen trilogy. 

About the Author

Catherine Murdock grew up on a small farm in Connecticut, where she wisely avoided all sports involving hand-eye coordination. She now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, two brilliant unicycling children, several cats, and a one-acre yard that she is slowly transforming into a wee but flourishing ecosystem. She is the author of several books, including the popular Dairy Queen series starring lovable heroine D. J. Schwenk, the fantasy novel Princess Ben, and Front and Center.

Praise For Front and Center

"The particulars of farm life, high school relationships, and college decisions are imparted with uncommon realism, and Murdock showcases the unexpected drama of everyday characters making mundane but essential life decisions. D.J.’s voice is intimate and compelling, her story both universal and unique, familiar and eye-opening. Here is a worthy send-off for a one-of-a-kind character."--Horn Book
"[D.J.'s] self-deprecating and humorous voice is still as fresh the third time around.." --Booklist "Murdock successfully integrates fresh trials and pressures, well-developed primary and likable peripheral characters, and amusing introspection into the backstory. . .D.J. is ultimately a responsible, realistically flawed, funny, endearing, and strong heroine worth rooting for whether on the court or on the page."--School Library Journal "Front and Center is a perfect coming of age story and a completely satisfying conclusion to the three-book series."--Jen Robinson's Book Page blog "This was a great novel with a lot of humor, but also a lot of serious situations, and relatable characters that I loved reading about." "A fantastic end to a terrific series...A+"--Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf blog "You won't want to miss it."--Abby the Librarian blog "Front and Center by Catherine Murdock is a satisfying conclusion to the Dairy Queen trilogy with a message that lasts long after you've read the last page. By emphasizing the importance of family, friendship, and support, all of which are sometimes overlooked in young adult literature, this book will motivate its reader to reach out and take risks.--Feed Your Imagination blog "I haven’t read the first two books in this series, but I had no problem falling in love with DJ, her family and her friends."--KISS THE BOOK blog  



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