Yesterday I wondered why I don't see much religion in YA. And today I'm spotlighting a book that does have religion at its center--along with romance and fun and some wonderfully written characters. I just love the tagline for Amy Fellner Dominy's OyMG: "Jewish Girl. Christian Camp. Holy Moly."
Here's the book's description, from Goodreads:
"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."
Sounds great, doesn't it? Check out these awesome reviews!
"Ellie’s roller-coaster of a summer is an appealing balance of big questions and universal teen concerns and triumphs. Readers will be pulled into the thoughtful exploration of one girl’s emotional connection to her religion and family heritage, her struggle to balance ambition with honesty and self-respect, and her delicate negotiation of being different when that difference isn’t outwardly apparent."— The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
There are no pat answers in OyMG; instead you'll find lots of nuance to help you look at both sides of the issues--just like a good debate. —Cindy Hudson, Mother Daughter Bookclub.com
Wonderfully written, with a cast full of memorable characters, OyMG is sure to find a place in your heart... and on your bookshelf. -- The Story Siren
The characters (especially Ellie and Zeydeh) are so well done and so aggravating, real and lovable, you feel like they're sitting next to you. The story is entertaining and funny. The emotional conflict is painful and true. The finish is totally satisfying. —Geoff Herbach, author of STUPID FAST
And here's the trailer.
I asked Amy to tell us a little about what she hoped to accomplish with OYMG. Here's what she had to say:
"I hope readers will learn what it's taken me years to figure out: we're all different in our own ways. More than that, it's our differences that make us special -- that make us who we are. We should never be afraid to speak up and speak out--for ourselves and for others. But all that can come later, after they're done reading. First, I hope they laugh and cry and when they close the book, they feel like they're leaving people they know and love."
I'm totally excited to read this book, and I hope you are, too. It sounds like a refreshing take on a concept we don't see often enough in contemporary YA.