The greatest animation director in the world is offering a summer internship – Hayley is so excited to be chosen to work with other teens on producing short films and maybe get a real job at BB Gun Films.
She’s been so inspired by Beckett’s magical, Oscar-winning film based on his son Bear’s imagination that she follows all his advice on their craft – what will the so-private genius be like in person?
Four films, four teams, all the leadership roles given to boys, including Bear himself who seems really bored with everything – not fair! Away from the studio, Bear seems a nice enough guy, reluctantly dragged into the program when his long-divorced dad discovered he can draw so well.
At least Hayley’s BB mentor is a woman, but she warns that this studio is as much an “old boys’ club” as the others and that women in animation have to work much harder to get work, let alone get credit for it.
Truth! Their team director takes credit for Hayley’s script, then lies about it in front of Beckett himself who chastises Hayley and puts her on Bear’s team as ‘his muse’ – stating bluntly that the Jewish girl was among the interns chosen “for diversity.”
After following Beckett’s advice for so long, Hayley is utterly stunned – is she really as talented as she thinks she is?
Bear believes in Hayley’s talents and reminds her that the animation business never promised to be fair. Being with Bear in the evenings alone – that’s more than fair.
The few other girls in the program are equally angry about their team leaders’ lack of leadership, and Hayley has an idea – why don’t they make their own short-short film too?
Working wild hours outside their team projects, the young women create Hayley’s girl and golem story that Beckett said no one could relate to – can they sneak it into the final showcase?
Time to aim for that glass ceiling and break through!
When has someone denied your proven talents?
Book info: Drawn That Way / Elissa Sussman; illustrations by Arielle Jovellanos. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021, paperback 2022. [author site] [illustrator site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.