Friday, October 21, 2011
Such a mitzvah
OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy (Walker 2011) talks about a subject not often found in books for tweens and teens: religion, spirituality, and religious identity. Ellie has been accepted into a prestigious summer camp for speech and drama students. She hopes that her talent will win her a scholarship to school in the fall. There are a few hurdles, first. One is to deal with her grandfather, Zeydeh, who is concerned that the camp is run by a Christian organization and Ellie is Jewish. A second hurdle presents itself in the form of the stunningly handsome Devon, grandson tot he woman who decides who will win the scholarship to Benedict's. Ellie seems to get tongue tied around him: not good for someone who wants to succeed in oratory. And then there is Devon's grandmother. <527>
Dominy considers issues of racism and prejudice and how being silent is actually being complicitous. She does so with a light but firm touch so that readers will pause and consider how they must learn to speak up when faced with prejudice even in humor. I also have to admit that I now have a craving for some good matzo ball soup, too.