OyMG

( 8 )

Overview

Ellie Taylor loves nothing better than a good argument. So when she gets accepted to the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp, she's sure that if she wins the final tournament, it'll be her ticket to a scholarship to the best speech school in the country. Unfortunately, the competition at CSSPA is hot-literally. His name is Devon and, whether she likes it or not, being near him makes her sizzle. Luckily she's confident enough to take on the challenge-until she begins to suspect that the ...

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OyMG

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Overview

Ellie Taylor loves nothing better than a good argument. So when she gets accepted to the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp, she's sure that if she wins the final tournament, it'll be her ticket to a scholarship to the best speech school in the country. Unfortunately, the competition at CSSPA is hot-literally. His name is Devon and, whether she likes it or not, being near him makes her sizzle. Luckily she's confident enough to take on the challenge-until she begins to suspect that the private scholarship's benefactor has negative feelings toward Jews. Will hiding her true identity and heritage be worth a shot at her dream?

Debut author Amy Fellner Dominy mixes sweet romance, surprising secrets, and even some matzo ball soup to cook up a funny yet heartfelt story about an outspoken girl who must learn to speak out for herself.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Ellie Taylor is an oratory star. She's so good, that attendance at the prestigious Benedict's School with its outstanding forensics' program should be a no-brainer except for tuition—which she doesn't have. However, attending the Christian speech camp at Benedict's could win her a scholarship, if Ellie weren't half Jewish and her Zaydeh's (grandfather's) is adamant about Ellie's Jewish identity. Ellie thinks she can handle it until it turns out that her arch-rival and her super crush is the Uber-Christian Devon Yeats, grandson of the scholarship donor. Devon warns Ellie that his grandmother dislikes Jews. Ellie does some soul-searching and her goals trump her identity. She can always tell the truth later. That is, until Zaydeh finds out about the lie. This is a surprisingly complex question for a lot of young people dealing with a blended identity. Ellie is a smart girl and examines the problem before making the convenient decision. There are several problems with the novel. As Ellie is fourteen and the novel is set in the present day (Obama is the president), the likelihood of Zaydeh being a Tevya-like stereotype is slim and a little insulting. The use of Ellie's descriptive phrase, "New York Jew," is offensive in the context that it is used. Ellie refers to Mrs. Yeats as a "racist." This is technically incorrect as Jews are not a race but a religion or ethnic group. Ellie's concept of God, the Father, seems to have been heavily influenced by her Christian friends. The end of the book is predictable but appropriate. Ellie gives a speech that wins the debate, but loses the scholarship. Her forensic argument of judging people by the "content of their character" is an appropriate one and she is rewarded with a tuition waiver that ties the book up nicely. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Ellie Taylor, 14, is a driven young woman who desperately wants to excel at the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp so that she can win a scholarship to prestigious Benedict's Conservatory. She has a great shot at winning, because she just loves to argue. With her friend Megan, Ellie shows up full of confidence and excitement, only to get immediately sidelined by the sight of handsome Devon Yeats. Not only is he sizzling hot, but he's also an excellent debater and is the grandson of the woman who will provide the funds for the scholarship winner. There's instant chemistry the first time the two lock eyes, but alas, true love never runs smoothly. Ellie quickly finds out that Devon's grandmother is anti-Semitic, and she has to decide whether to stand up for her Jewish faith or to shoot for her goals at any cost. Despite the predictable ending, kids will enjoy reading about likable Ellie's struggles and will get a real kick out of her grandfather.—Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews

Speech-and-debate summer camp provides a backdrop for romance and the fight against anti-Semitism.

Ellie Taylor has been a champion orator at her middle school and is looking forward to a summer honing her persuasive skills at the prestigious Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp at Benedict's School. Her favorite, most reliable and endlessly maddening verbal sparring partner isn't a kid, though, it's her beloved grandfather, Zeydeh. Although Ellie assures Zeydeh that the camp is Christian in name only, her faith in both herself and her religion is tested when Mrs. Yeats, who endows the scholarship Ellie needs to win to afford attendance at Benedict's, is revealed as a lifelong anti-Semite. (Naturally, Mrs. Yeats' grandson Devon is Ellie's debate partner and "sizzling" crush object.) Zeydeh and Mrs. Yeats both challenge Ellie to pick a side—her heritage or her future—provoking her to resort to a variety of realistically clumsy subterfuges before staking out her identity on her own, clear terms. More mature than Fiona Rosenbloom's You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2005) and less contemplative than Jenny Meyerhoff's The Queen of Secrets (2010), Dominy's debut balances light and heavy subject matter with ease.

There's nothing earth-shatteringly original here, but readers who like their frothy romance with a bracing dash of serious social issues will be clamoring for seconds. (Fiction. 11-14)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802721778
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 943,938
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

AMY FELLNER DOMINY worked as an ad copywriter for twenty years before leaving advertising to pursue her MFA as a playwright. Her plays for adults and children have been staged in various cities all around the country and have garnered many awards. She lives with her husband and two teenage children. This is her first novel.

www.amydominy.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    One of my Favorite '11 Debuts!

    I always love books filled with heart, and just my luck, Amy Fellner Dominy's OyMG fit that ticket perfectly, as not only was it heartfelt but it also contained memorable characters and a story nearly like no other.

    For Ellie getting accepted into the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp is the start of something fabulous, because not only will she be doing the thing she loves most- debating- but she will also be competing for a scholarship to one of the best schools in the country. Camp starts great. Ellie's with her best friend; she is making new friends, including one dreamy Devon; Doris Yeats, the person in charge of the scholarships, seems to think she is a sure winner for the spot. However, there is one problem: Doris seems to have a problem with Jewish people. For Ellie's this is devastating because not only is she Jewish but she has always been proud of her heritage. Now she is left to decide whether she should hide her heritage and win Doris over, or withdraw from the completion. What will she choose? Moreover, will she get the boy in the end? Only time and more pages will tell in Amy's pitch-perfect contemporary debut!

    In OyMG, there were several great aspects, but my absolute favorite would have to be the characters, Ellie and her Zeydeh (grandfather in Yiddish) in particular. Intelligent, sweet, and witty, Ellie is a girl I feel many will be able to relate to, because of her qualms with faith but everyday life as well. On the other hand, Zeydeh brought the wit and heart to the story. I loved seeing his relationship with Ellie, as I feel it will resonate well with anyone who has been close to a grandparent before.

    Moving on, the plot of this was also fabulous. When I first heard of OyMG, I was interested to see how Amy would go about the topic of faith in today's world. I wondered if it would be too preachy, or barely there. Thankfully, Amy reached a point in between, because while it was not at all preachy, it still played an important and fascinating part of the story. I always found Ellie's actions and feelings to ring true, and I especially loved how everything turned out. The subplots dealing with Ellie's first love as well as her friendship were also done well.

    Lastly, Amy's writing was decent as well. She did a fantastic job of bringing the story of OyMG alive, and I cannot help but applaud her for writing an important and great religion read so to say.

    Full of zeal and wit, OyMG is a book that will surely capture the attention of many YA fans. Hopefully one of them will be you.

    Grade: A+

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Witty and fun!

    Dominy's heroine, Ellie Taylor, has been arguing all her life. A born debater, confident, funny, and determined, Ellie signs up for Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp so that she can win a full scholarship to the best private school in her area, the school with one of the best debate societies in the state. Ellie realizes that winning the scholarship also means pretending to be Christian and repudiating her Jewish heritage and identity, this raises all sorts of problems. Tough for Ellie, but great for us readers because it also gives Dominy the chance to exploit her skill at comedy.

    Dominy has a gift for humor. Everything that might go wrong does - and in such a way that I kept chuckling and laughing out loud. Likable characters, witty dialogue, and situational comedy - OyMG is such a fun read!

    ISBN-10: 080272177X- Hardcover
    Publisher: Walker & Company (May 10, 2011), 256 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2014

    Not bad on grammer

    Good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2014

    I like

    Interesting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2012

    I love this book

    THIS BOOK IS AWESOME AND I'D RECOMEND IT TO ANYONE?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Badstar

    I wont be on for a cuple of days

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    A poignant, funny read about a girl coming to grips with her true identity

    disclosure that I am a "writer-friend" and read an Advance Review Copy of OyMG.

    But trust me when I tell you it is a delightful story of a teenaged girl who is trying to come to grips with her religious identity as she navigates the pressures of family, a summer speech and debate competition, and first love. Authentic characters, abundant funny moments, make it a tween/teen must read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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