When movie-loving Hayley’s beloved grandma dies, so does her dream of making the horror movie they were writing together. Then she inherits the money to buy a professional camera, and becomes determined to see the project through, with only three weeks to do so. But someone is sabotaging Hayley’s movie! Who? And why?
HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE in 12 DAYS will appeal to the upper MG crowd, especially those fascinated with film making. Although there are references to movies from the past that kids will have probably never heard about, it will entice them to watch them in the future.
The book tops out at 275 pages and the number of words per page is another reason to save this one for the more accomplished reader.
Eleven year old Hayley’s first person narration centers on her passion to make a movie, to be a director. The quick time frame to complete the film occurs because the family is having a tribute party for the person they truly miss: Iris, the grandmother who passed away. The film will be the centerpiece of the gathering if Hayley can finish it in time.
Hayley is making the film with a group of school friends. Her ambition is second to none, but the mystery of who is sabotaging her efforts was truly a surprise. Supporting her (or not) are her older brother Lucas, a hilarious younger sister Jennifer, and two devoted parents.
Family dynamics, healing over a relative’s passing, and the importance of friends are the strong themes throughout in this Australian import. You’ll be on Hayley’s side the whole way and hoping her film truly does make a difference. I smiled at the ending and that’s a wrap…okay not quite…
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE IN 12 DAYS by Fiona Hardy
- Theo, an elderly neighbor, allows the young filmmakers to use his yard for some of the key scenes in the movie. He’s quite the character with a few plot twists of his own.
- Little sister Jennifer always has the perfect voice for a 5-year-old. She loves oranges so much she actually talks to them:”It’s okay, no one will find you. We’ll get married someday. I promise.”
- The modern take on parenting: Mom works full time while Dad stays home with the family.
- The cast of friends each have a distinct personality. Henry, Pilar, Samson, and Rissa’s characters were written beautifully.
- Follow your dreams never meant more than in this unique story.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fiona Hardy is a kids-book writer, crime-book reviewer, and all-books bookseller. From the wide-eyed work experience days at her local bookshop, she has stayed in the industry for nearly twenty years, and now works as one of the managers at Readings. Since a much-praised four-sentence retelling of Alice in Wonderland in grade one lit her writing flame, she has written for publications such as The Big Issue, Books+Publishing, Verity La, and Gargouille. She joined the Australian Crime Writers Association, the team behind the Ned Kelly Awards, in 2013, and in 2016 she was shortlisted for the Text Prize. Fiona lives in Melbourne with her partner and daughter.
COMMENTS ARE WELCOME BELOW.
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This sounds like a lot of fun.
I’d have loved this as a kid, really interested in movie-making, and it sounds a great story too. Thanks for sharing!
What an entertaining read — with a mystery. This would have appealed to my 11-year-old heart because I loved performing and staging things. My dad hogged the camera though.
This sounds like a fun book!
This is a book that will strike a chord with a LOT of kids. It sounds like a really fun mystery. I will have to read this one. Thanks for the review.
Oh, this sounds so fun! Thanks for featuring this one!