Marcus Makes a Movie was fun, refreshing, realistic Children’s Comic & Graphic Novel with diverse and relatable characters and information about film making that kids would love to read.
Marcus Makes a Movie by Kevin Hart, David Cooper (Illustrator)
Publication Date : June 1st 2021
Publisher : Crown Books for Young Readers
Genre : Children’s Fiction / Comic & Graphic Novel
Pages : 208
Marcus is NOT happy to be stuck in after-school film class . . . until he realizes he can turn the story of the cartoon superhero he’s been drawing for years into an actual MOVIE! There’s just one problem: he has no idea what he’s doing. So he’ll need help, from his friends, his teachers, Sierra, the strong-willed classmate with creative dreams of her own, even Tyrell, the local bully who’d be a perfect movie villain if he weren’t too terrifying to talk to.
Making this movie won’t be easy. But as Marcus discovers, nothing great ever is–and if you want your dream to come true, you’ve got to put in the hustle to make it happen.
*** Disclaimer : I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***
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Marcus Makes a Movie was fun and entertaining middle grade illustrated novel that revolved around Marcus turning his superhero comic into a movie and all the roadblocks he had to overcome. The story was about teamwork, friendship, film making, and not quitting on your dream.
Writing was entertaining, easy to follow and understand by kids. It was written from Marcus POV with beautiful pencil drawn illustrations that made story come to life. There were 2 or 3 drawings per chapter, making it more illustrated than a graphic novel.
It started with Marcus signing up for film making afternoon class as he wasn’t interested in nay other classes, not even art class in which teacher made him do other activities apart from drawing for comics. He wasn’t happy with film class and with a classmate with whom he had wrong start but once he got idea of turning his superhero Toothpick comic into movie there was no stopping him. Problem was he didn’t know a thing about film making, not even how to write a screenplay. So, he needed all help he could get, that classmate whom he couldn’t stand, teachers, other film class students and even bully of the school.
It was interesting to read how Marcus would learn to make movie, work with other students, what problems he would encounter while making movie and how he would overcome them.
I liked diverse, realistic and relatable characters. Marcus wasn’t likable character at first but we know the reason behind it as he started working on movie. He had so much angst, anger and behavioural issues, didn’t know how to work in team and how to keep his head cool while working with others. As he worked on his movie and with his classmates, and Sierra whose Zombie movie school was going to play for art cultural program, he learned many things. We see gradual development in him and how he became better person at the end.
I enjoyed Marcus’s growing friendship with Sierra. Sierra was smart and amazing with her people skill and knew a lot about film making. I loved how she offered to help Marcus putting aside their differences and even apologised him for wrong start even though it wasn’t entirely her fault.
What I loved most was information about film making. It was written in simple and fun way that kids would enjoy reading- How to write a screenplay, how first draft is always worst and how to correct them, how to work on plot holes, how important it is to have proper background, reasons, and meanings in story, techniques to use in movie with zero budget like, stop motion and Len Burds effect.
It was fun, amazing and really realistic to read how many problems Marcus encountered while making his film– rewriting, equipment, setting, problem with continuity, delays and inconveniences, and things we all fuss about putting it out there in world and not getting numbers/views. And this was all with zero budget! It was easy to think how hard it might really get on big budget movies.
I loved the message of not quitting no matter how many roadblocks you have to encounter, how many people say ‘no you cannot do it’, and how to keep up with hard work, at the end not forgetting purpose of doing something you love and enjoy it no matter what result you get.
End was uplifting and satisfying. I enjoyed how things turned out not just for Marcus but for all characters he worked with.
Overall, Marcus Makes a Movie was fun, refreshing, realistic and uplifting illustrated novel with interesting storyline and great message for kids. If you love middle grade or children’s fiction, concept of film making and great message to learn, I definitely recommend this book.
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