How to Make a Movie in 12 Days

This is such a good book! It was a really enjoyable, satisfying read, with some quirky touches that set it apart. How to Make a Movie in 12 Days opens just after the death of eleven year old Hayley's beloved grandmother, who had helped her to write and plan her very own movie. Hayley decides to use the use the last couple of weeks of the holidays to make those plans into reality, by shooting Rosebud, a horror story about a vengeful rosebush, in Grandma's honour. But it seems that someone is sabotaging the shoot...

Fiona Hardy has skilfully woven together a story about friendships, trust, grief and film shoots. I loved the inserts like the filming schedule, the list of sabotage suspects, and especially the film appreciation course at the end of the book, complete with fun activities and an age-appropriate introduction to film criticism.

Bonus points for making Hayley a heroine who openly states that she has no interest in romance. It's increasingly hard to find protagonists who don't sneak in a little romantic interest on the side, even in middle grade fiction, and as a parent of a child who steadfastly resisted romance in all her reading, it's lovely to have a really solid option out there.

Thoroughly satisfying. This is Fiona Hardy's debut, and she is one to watch.

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