How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days

Fiona Hardy

How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days
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How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days

Fiona Hardy

Twelve days. Five kids. Many special effects. One giant mystery.

Hayley Whelan has spent her whole life dreaming of making a horror movie - and not just the type of movie that kids make on their dodgy second-hand iPhones. When her grandma passes away, she inherits the money for a proper, grown-up camera. But before Hayley even calls ‘Action!’, strange things start happening…

Someone is sabotaging Hayley’s movie - but who? Why? And can Hayley finish her movie in time for the premiere?

From Australia’s brightest new middle-grade talent comes this love song to movies, friendship and the summer holidays.


Hayley Whelan loves everything about movies; she has spent her whole life dreaming of writing and directing her own. When her Grandma, with whom she’d been writing her horror movie, Rosebud, passes away, Hayley inherits the money for an actual, real, grown-up video camera. Suddenly, she has three weeks to film and edit an entire movie with her friends, but before she can even lock in a location, strange things start happening and sabotage is afoot. I really love this book. It captures perfectly how I remember childhood summer holidays. The feeling you got when your friends all came together to work on a Very Serious project, how important you felt when the adults in your life played along, and how sometimes you let the project get in the way of your friendships (Hayley learns a lot about herself while making Rosebud – such as that directors are supposed to be bossy, but not mean!). In the spirit of a true summer holiday adventure, Hayley and her friends are given a lot of freedom by the adults in their lives, but Hayley’s family are never far away when she needs advice or help (or when she needs to be grounded!).

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It even comes with a ‘Summer Holiday Program Study Guide’ at the end for all budding film makers and, given that it’s almost impossible to read this book and NOT want to go out and immediately make your own summer movie, this will be very handy! Excellent for all kids 9+.

Dani Solomon is the assistant manager at Readings Kids.

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