An anxious aspiring filmmaker bands together with an unlikely friend group to protect their beloved state animal in this heartwarming contemporary middle grade novel perfect for fans of Jamie Sumner and Erin Entrada Kelly.
Twelve-year-old Olive Blackwood’s dream is to direct blockbuster fantasy movies, just like her dad wanted to before he died. She decides to apply to the highly competitive Rose City Summer Film Camp with the help of her best friend, Kayla. But Olive isn’t sure how she can cast the movie when the mere thought of talking to a stranger makes her nervous.
Then a surprise project in Olive’s film class presents her best chance at going to Rose City: the group who makes the best documentary trailer will receive a recommendation to the elite program! But Olive’s hopes are quickly dashed when she’s paired with the two worst students in class: loud Jo Willems has a flashy style of dressing just as intimidating as their outspoken opinions and David Moore is even quieter than Olive, fading into the background. It seems impossible for the three of them to find enough common ground to produce something noteworthy.
When Olive stumbles across an old lady chasing a beaver with a frying pan, she’s disturbed to discover it’s legal to kill beavers in Oregon—which has the animal on the state flag! Olive posts the video she took of the incident, and it goes viral. She wants to raise more awareness, and if she uses her documentary to do it, she could even get the coveted Rose City recommendation at the same time.
With the help of unexpected friendship, counseling, and a little everyday magic, can Olive make her voice be heard?
About the Author
Sonja Thomas (she/her) writes stories for readers of all ages, often featuring brave, everyday girls doing extraordinary things. Raised in Central Florida—home of the wonderful world of Disney, humidity, and hurricanes—and a Washington, DC, transplant for eleven years (go Nats!), she’s now “keeping it weird” in the Pacific Northwest. Ruled by coffee and cats, a few of her favorite things are dancing to music blasting in the living room, traveling to new places and buying a magnet before leaving, and snuggling with her furry friend, Gabbie Lu—just don’t let her roommate’s three other cats know! Sonja is the author of Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence and Olive Blackwood Takes Action!.