Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Acquisition: received an ARC for review
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. (from Goodreads)
A cute, heartwarming story about growing up, facing prejudice and accepting who you are. Ellie was such a wonderful character to read. She's young and not yet full of teenage angst, which was refreshing. She's also very determined and very sure of herself. At least, she always thought she was.
I love her reactions to what happens to her. They felt very genuine and they made sense. She has always known what it was she wanted but when faced with a situation she never thought she would encounter, she falters - and rightfully so. She is only a kid and no one deserves to be treated the way she was. Of course it affected her. The prejudice she encounters is harsh but the strength of her character really shines though.
In the end, she does the right thing and she doesn’t change who she is. I was really impressed with Ellie as a character and I think she makes for an excellent role model for young girls.
And I loved her family. Her Zeydeh (grandfather) was a riot! Although I'm not Jewish, he very much reminded me of some of my older relatives. Loved him!
Overall, a really great read for me. A refreshing contemporary young adult book that, I think, speaks to readers of all ages.
5 / 5 Stars