Author: Amy Fellner Dominy
Publisher: Walker & Company
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Number of Pages: 256
Source of Book: Bought the hardcover
Author's Website: amydominy.com
I’ve been wanting to read this one ever since I first heard about it, and I’m so glad I finally did. It’s a cute, easy read, and I’m glad to find a book that will be appropriate for my younger middle school readers, but doesn’t feel so “middle grades”. The overall plot arc is a little predictable, but kind of like a good chick flick-you know what I’m talking about, right? The one you really want to go see because you just need some comfort watching and pure entertainment even if you know how it’s all going to go in the end? It follows a safe formula for reluctant readers, while adding in elements of religion and needing to be true to self that make it resonate on a deeper level and send the kind of message I want my students to read.Jewish girl. Christian camp. Holy moly.
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.
Secondary characters are fun, but this book really focuses on Ellie and what she’s going through. I have to say, I’ve never read a book about speech students, but it added a new twist that gave some unique depth to the story. Ellie is a fun character who really goes after what she wants. There is, of course, a boy, and a best friend, and a family, and one hilariously entertaining grandfather involved. Right wins out in the end by standing up for oneself, and there are some really strong messages throughout about prejudice and trying to fit in and doing things for the right reasons and making sure that you are comfortable with your actions. OyMG is just a fun, cute, light read that I will definitely be handing off to my students right away. I look forward to reading Amy's next book as well!