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OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
What first interested me about Amy Fellner Dominy's book was its ties to speech and debate. I'll admit it. I was the girl in high school who joined the club, lived at mock trial, spent her days arguing for or against anything they asked me to! I loved the high stress atmosphere and the good natured competition that came along with it. So when I saw that OyMG was about Ellie's life as an orator, I knew I was in. Plain and simple. Little did I know that I'd be sucked in ever further. This book is so much more than it seems to be!

From the beginning I was drawn in by Ellie's wit and ability to talk her way through anything that came her way. She is the perfect mixture of sweet, sensible, and downright fierce when it comes to competition. I loved how she was so driven to accomplish her goal of getting into the school she wanted. Despite her age, Ellie knew what she wanted and she was going for it. I so respected her for that. Then when Devon comes on the scene, things get cute and I was even more invested. Ellie is my kind of girl!

However I was only in love with Ellie at that point. The story was fun and sweet, but that's all it felt like to me. An enjoyable read. Until the second half of the book that is. Enter Devon's grandmother and her antiquated views. Without spoiling anything, I'll let you know that she drove me mad. I know that is what Dominy intended, but wow. Anyhow Ellie's struggle from that point on is what really really made me like this book. I saw the two halves of her life at war. The portion of her that knows what is right, warring with the part of her that is so goal driven. It was amazing. To see that struggle down on paper made me smile, because there are so many people out there who need to know that prejudice still exists, even today.

Lest I let Ellie overshadow the other characters, I'll fully admit that they are all fantastic! By far Ellie's zeydeh (grandfather) was my absolute favorite. Spouting Yiddish sayings, keeping Ellie thinking about the "right" path, he was such a vivid character. I think people from all religions and backgrounds will find a little of their own grandfather in him, and I loved him for that. He definitely made this book that much more fun for me to read.

I really enjoyed reading OyMG. I can't put my finger on what kept it from being a five rating for me, it could be as simple as the time I read it. However I can say that it was a book I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend! Ellie's wit, her zeydeh's humor, a little bit of romance, it all blends into a book that is a fun and meaningful read. I say give it a shot! Ellie might argue her way right into your heart. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |

This review can also be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover is very cute. Covered in doodles, it looks like it could have been pulled from Ellie's notebook. I love the play on words in the title and hope that most teens would get it.

The Gist: Ellie has one goal: to attend the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp and win a coveted scholarship to St. Benedict's school, the posh school with the best debate team around. As a Jewish girl in a Christian camp, Ellie feels a little out of place and her plans are threatened when she discovers that the school's benefactor, and her the grandmother of her crush and main competition, may be prejudiced against Jews. Ellie must decide how much of herself she is willing to sacrifice in order to win.

Review: OyMG is an enjoyable read about a young girl struggling to find her own identity in the face of what everyone else wants her to be. The plot is a little expected and predictable, but the characters are fantastic. Ellie is a strong and independent young woman who knows the value of a good argument and is willing to work hard for the things that she wants. Her parents are loving and supportive - something that is often all too rare in YA novels! The best friend has her own set of issues (can we have a book featuring Megan as the MC please?) the love interest is smart and interesting and the villain is realistic and complex. However the stand out (and in close competition with Sage from The False Prince for the prize of favorite character thus far in 2012) is her Zeydeh (Grandfather). He is so well written that I was convinced he was based on a real person (he's not - I asked) and determined to meet him. Zeydeh has the best lines enhances this novel with a wonderful spark of humor. It is not too often that I can "hear" a character speak, but I could hear Zeydeh, in fact, I am still hearing Zeydeh (right now he is telling me to finish my tappity-tapping so we can look up recipes for Motzo Ball Soup). He is uncompromising, he is funny and he is the one person who demands that Ellie expect more from herself.
Characters aside, the plot moves quickly and does not suffer from any lag. There is no InstaLove and it does not paint the world (and the people in it) in black and white. I am happy to add this to my Classroom Library and cannot wait to see if my students are able to draw any comparisons to their own lives.

Teaching/Parental Notes:
Age: 12 and up
Gender: Will probably be more appealing to girls
Sex: None
Violence: None
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Abuse: None ( )
  ZabetReading | Mar 31, 2013 |

This review can also be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover is very cute. Covered in doodles, it looks like it could have been pulled from Ellie's notebook. I love the play on words in the title and hope that most teens would get it.

The Gist: Ellie has one goal: to attend the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp and win a coveted scholarship to St. Benedict's school, the posh school with the best debate team around. As a Jewish girl in a Christian camp, Ellie feels a little out of place and her plans are threatened when she discovers that the school's benefactor, and her the grandmother of her crush and main competition, may be prejudiced against Jews. Ellie must decide how much of herself she is willing to sacrifice in order to win.

Review: OyMG is an enjoyable read about a young girl struggling to find her own identity in the face of what everyone else wants her to be. The plot is a little expected and predictable, but the characters are fantastic. Ellie is a strong and independent young woman who knows the value of a good argument and is willing to work hard for the things that she wants. Her parents are loving and supportive - something that is often all too rare in YA novels! The best friend has her own set of issues (can we have a book featuring Megan as the MC please?) the love interest is smart and interesting and the villain is realistic and complex. However the stand out (and in close competition with Sage from The False Prince for the prize of favorite character thus far in 2012) is her Zeydeh (Grandfather). He is so well written that I was convinced he was based on a real person (he's not - I asked) and determined to meet him. Zeydeh has the best lines enhances this novel with a wonderful spark of humor. It is not too often that I can "hear" a character speak, but I could hear Zeydeh, in fact, I am still hearing Zeydeh (right now he is telling me to finish my tappity-tapping so we can look up recipes for Motzo Ball Soup). He is uncompromising, he is funny and he is the one person who demands that Ellie expect more from herself.
Characters aside, the plot moves quickly and does not suffer from any lag. There is no InstaLove and it does not paint the world (and the people in it) in black and white. I am happy to add this to my Classroom Library and cannot wait to see if my students are able to draw any comparisons to their own lives.

Teaching/Parental Notes:
Age: 12 and up
Gender: Will probably be more appealing to girls
Sex: None
Violence: None
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Abuse: None ( )
  ZabetReading | Mar 31, 2013 |

This review can also be found on Reading Between Classes

Cover Impressions: The cover is very cute. Covered in doodles, it looks like it could have been pulled from Ellie's notebook. I love the play on words in the title and hope that most teens would get it.

The Gist: Ellie has one goal: to attend the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp and win a coveted scholarship to St. Benedict's school, the posh school with the best debate team around. As a Jewish girl in a Christian camp, Ellie feels a little out of place and her plans are threatened when she discovers that the school's benefactor, and her the grandmother of her crush and main competition, may be prejudiced against Jews. Ellie must decide how much of herself she is willing to sacrifice in order to win.

Review: OyMG is an enjoyable read about a young girl struggling to find her own identity in the face of what everyone else wants her to be. The plot is a little expected and predictable, but the characters are fantastic. Ellie is a strong and independent young woman who knows the value of a good argument and is willing to work hard for the things that she wants. Her parents are loving and supportive - something that is often all too rare in YA novels! The best friend has her own set of issues (can we have a book featuring Megan as the MC please?) the love interest is smart and interesting and the villain is realistic and complex. However the stand out (and in close competition with Sage from The False Prince for the prize of favorite character thus far in 2012) is her Zeydeh (Grandfather). He is so well written that I was convinced he was based on a real person (he's not - I asked) and determined to meet him. Zeydeh has the best lines enhances this novel with a wonderful spark of humor. It is not too often that I can "hear" a character speak, but I could hear Zeydeh, in fact, I am still hearing Zeydeh (right now he is telling me to finish my tappity-tapping so we can look up recipes for Motzo Ball Soup). He is uncompromising, he is funny and he is the one person who demands that Ellie expect more from herself.
Characters aside, the plot moves quickly and does not suffer from any lag. There is no InstaLove and it does not paint the world (and the people in it) in black and white. I am happy to add this to my Classroom Library and cannot wait to see if my students are able to draw any comparisons to their own lives.

Teaching/Parental Notes:
Age: 12 and up
Gender: Will probably be more appealing to girls
Sex: None
Violence: None
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Abuse: None ( )
  ZabetReading | Mar 31, 2013 |
Ellie Taylor hopes her debating skills will get her a scholarship to a prestigious Christian-affiliated private school. She attends summer speech camp and falls for Devon, a cute shaygetz whose grandmother happens to be the anti-Semitic sponsor of the scholarship. With some nudging from her zaydeh, Ellie faces her toughest argument as she must decide between the scholarship and her Jewish identity. (Grades 9-11)
  STBA | Mar 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080272177X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fourteen-year-old Ellie will do almost anything to win a scholarship to the best speech school in the country, but must decide if she is willing to hide her Jewish heritage while at a Phoenix, Arizona, summer camp that could help her reach her goal.

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