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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

AS: OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy and Freebie!

"What Jewish girl goes to a Christian camp?"
My rank: 8/10
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication: 05.11.2011
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2177-8
Page Count: 256 Pages
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Publisher

The Freebie:
An ARC of OyMG, signed bookplate (attached to the ARC) and bookmarks OR a magnetic poetry of OyMG and bookmarks are available for grabs! Continue reading and you'll find out how to get it! Fill out this FORM!

Ellie Taylor loves to argue. She loves her debate team and was thrilled when she had her chance to go Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts Camp (CSSPA; one of the best summer camps for incoming freshmen to compete on speech and debate teams). There is one chance to fulfill her dreams, and that's by winning the CSSPA scholarship to go to Benedict's.

Zeydeh ("grandfather" in Jewish) lives and breathes Jewish. To Ellie's Zeydeh, it's not just a religion. So when Ellie tells the family she's going for the scholarship, of course Zeydeh protests. But since this is for Ellie's dream, he has to support it whether he like it or not.

Then Ellie met Devon. Devon Yeats--the grandson of Doris Yeats (the one who sponsors the scholarship for Benedict's) and had a sizzle even before Ellie knows his last name. Ellie has to prove herself worthy for the scholarship--but apparently Doris Yeats isn't fond of Jews. Hence, Ellie put "Christian" as her religion.

How will Ellie deal with Zeydeh, Doris Yeats and Devon?

The story is fresh and original. When I first heard about this book, I had my doubts (Religion, after all, is kind of a touchy topic no matter who you are). But I was hooked to read it from the very first page. Dominy's voice kept me going. Quick and witty at times, with a spark of drama that we deal with everyday (even if we don't realize it or not).

Author Spotlight:

1. Ever since you were younger, did you always want to be a
writer? How old were you when you started writing?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing something. But
the first time I thought about it seriously was when my dad
suggested I submit a story I’d written to American Girl Magazine.
I sent it in when I was thirteen years old—and American Girl
Magazine sent me my first rejection letter. (I still have it!)

2. What inspired you to write OyMG!?
I think most of us grow up feeling different in one way or
another. For me, I was one of the only Jewish kids in my school.
I was proud of my faith, but at times (especially Christmas!) it
was just plain hard. I wanted to be like everyone else.
Then something happened to me when I was Ellie’s age. I
got fired from a babysitting job when the family found out I was
Jewish. Of course that’s stayed with me over the years. It’s hard
to understand hate like that—at any age. The question is how
do we handle it? How far will we go to conform and fit in? What
part of ourselves are we willing to hide? From that question, Ellie
Taylor and OyMG came to life.

3. Does religion matter? How much?
Religion has been an important part of my life and it’s definitely
helped define who I am. But I think religion is only as good as
the people who practice it. For me, it’s more important to focus
on being a good person, on trying to accept and understand
people and repair the world in any way possible. It doesn’t
require religion to do those things.

4. What do you want to convey when you wrote OyMG!?
It’s really a story about a girl trying to figure out who she is and
learning to accept herself, differences and all. I hope teens who
read the book will realize that our differences are what make us
special—that it’s okay to speak up and speak out. And hopefully,
to be more aware of how they might judge others.

5. I love speech team! Was this something you did back when
you were in high school, or did you need to research for this
specific novel? Please tell me your experience with speech!

I can understand why you love speech team! I only participated
in one tournament in high school—but it was a dramatic event
because theater was my first love. So when I started this book,
I contacted a speech coach at a local high school and followed his
team to a tournament. After that, I was hooked! Impromptu and
oratory were two of the events I watched the most—and maybe
that’s why I featured them in the story. (And now I’m kicking
myself that I didn’t do speech in high school—so much fun!)

6. I checked your website and know that your second book is on
the way! Would you be willing to give some info about this??? :D

Thanks for asking—I’m so excited for this one! Audition and
Subtraction will be out fall 2012, again from Walker & Company.
It’s about fourteen-year-old Tatum who could lose her spot
in District Honor Band—and her best friend—when a new guy
transfers to her school. Friendships shift and romance sparks in
unexpected places.

7. What do we need to do in order to get the freebie?
An OyMG magnetic poetry is up for grabs. Just leave a
comment…and if you can include a Yiddish word you’ll get a
double entry!

P.S: Don't forget to fill this form!

8. Thank you very much for your time! Is there anything else you
would like to say to OyMG! readers?

Just that I hope you like the book! If you have any thoughts or
comments, I’d love to hear from you at


  1. Great interview! Mazel Tov to Amy :)

  2. The answer she gave to question number 3 (3. Does religion matter? How much?) really touched my heart. I wish people could think more in terms of this and be more accepting and open. Bad people aren't made from specific religions. Of course, had acceptance (completely unquestioned acceptance) taken hold of our world this book wouldn't be out. I might have to give it a read.


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