Blog Tour: We Made A Movie – Charlotte Lo

We Made A Movie by Charlotte Lo

I’m delighted to be shouting Action! and starting off the blog tour for We Made A Movie, the long awaited sequel to We Won An Island by Charlotte Lo. 

Charlotte’s debut was bright, aspirational and funny but with a underlying truth of the quiet impact on children of adult financial and mental health struggles when the children win an island and relocate to remote Scotland in the hopes of changing their parents’ lives around.

In the sequel we see a ramping up of this light and depth to apply to the village now. Charlotte maintains the humour, the silliness and the way a child looks at the world through her lovable narrator Luna, but with a gentle reveal as she begins to observe and comprehend the struggles that adults face in the world around them.

We Made A Movie by Charlotte Lo
Cover art by Aviel Basil

We pick up as the summer holidays begin but the fight for Wishnook begins as an international conglomerate wishes to build a mega-resort on land outside the village.

The residents are passionately divided between those who believe this offers a future and opportunities for the villagers with jobs, economic links and fresh, moneyed tourism; and the other side predicting there will be no place for the old Wishnook under this new regime and everyone will be pushed out. 

Mum, Luna and Fabian along with local friend Kai are firmly against the resort whilst Margot sees it as her ticket to affording her pilot’s licence and escaping and Dad thinks it will revive the tourism opportunities. 

With the family and village split in two Luna, Fabian and Kai decide to make a movie to show everything that makes Wishnook worth saving… the only problem is local journalist Daisy has teamed up with Margot to make their own video explaining why it needs the resort. Which side will win through?

‘We should make a movie about our animals!’ I said,. ‘Wouldn’t you want to see a movie about the world’s most talented goats?’

Margot shook her head. ‘No’

But Fabien was jumping up and down in excitement ‘We’re going to be famous!’

‘I Know!’ I yelled ‘And it wouldn’t just have to be about our animals. It could be about our island, and The Wig and Pen, and Mr Percy’s ice cream stall. It could be about the whole town!’

The beauty of Charlotte’s writing is that it appeals to the humour and sparkly fun imagination of children of the endless possibilities of summer, with fish being lobbed from boat to boat into mum’s handbag, ice cream wars, babies regurgitating broccoli over harassed parents in lycra yoga gear, and a haggis protest leading to it being dumped in the port.

The young reader can simply enjoy the fun and the adventure of the children’s story, feel hope, frustration and joy as they struggle, succeed and mess up, or have to suffer dad’s Summer School that’s not so fun, that part is enough to recommend this fun and immensely enjoyable book to young readers..

However for those who are beginning to see beyond their little bubble and are increasingly aware of local social issues, they will feel a kindred spirit, and perhaps even hope in Luna, Fabian and Kai’s Mission to save Wishnook. 

I finally cracked. “I can’t believe you’re trying to destroy our town.”

With recent government policy of build, build, build even on green belt land, despite being paused for a year thanks to the world pandemic, We Made a Movie couldn’t actually hit at a better time. 

I would suspect that the lives of many potential readers would be in some way affected by this topic; whether living cramped in inadequate expensive city accommodation, families in tourism areas evicted for their homes to become more lucrative Airbnb’s, watching parents struggling to get on the housing ladder, or watching generation after generation of youth disappear to distant cities in pursuit of bright lights, jobs and opportunity.

Underinvestment in people and communities is rampant in the UK, remarkably so in regional nations and the big building firms creep ever more onto green and pleasant land building identikit estates further from where it is desperately needed, and inevitably unaffordable for locals in some areas creating bank holiday weekend ghost towns of second home owners. 

The faceless, powerful, money-orientated company in the book is not a far reached imagination for many communities. 

So if Margot and Daisy think they’re right, and if we think we’re right, then what if neither of us are?

Luna to the Mayor

But at the centre of the book is hope, but not for a magic wand. For action, participation and new thinking. The old ways aren’t working and the big business route doesn’t solve the problem either, but there is still hope that people can change the story, can evoke change and be true to themselves but it will take effort, resilience and courage. 

Such a deep message underneath fun and joyful silliness, it can easily be missed, but for those who are ready or want to hear it, there’s power with the humour, and hope with the laughter. Whatever your reader, I highly recommend it as a playful and summery read whether the reader sees the deeper meaning or not.

Now, I am hosting a giveaway on Twitter of a copy of the book as part of the blog tour celebrations!!! 

Get yourself over to Twitter, and follow myself and Nosy Crow (so I can DM you if you win) retweet the competition tweet and say (or show!) what local feature, building, place or attraction you would feature in a homemade movie about the area you live in!

The competition will be open until midnight on Monday 16th August and winner chosen by a random name selector app.

Please make sure to check out the other stops this week to celebrate the publication of We Made A Movie!!

We Made A Movie by Charlotte Lo

We Made A Movie by Charlotte Lo is published by Nosy Crow 

Many thanks to Nosy Crow for my copy. 💜

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