Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Andrew Jenks: My Adventures as a Young  Filmmaker

Andrew Jenks: My Adventures as a Young Filmmaker

Spring 2013 Non-Fiction
Ages: 12 & Up
Author: Andrew Jenks
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545417273
Hardcover Price: $19.99

"Fake it till you make it. Don't hear no. Adapt." These words don't appear until the end of Andrew Jenks' autobiographical telling of his journey toward fulfilling a dream, but they sum up the theme throughout.

His story is bolstered by a delightful collection of photographs. There are shots of Andrew and his brother pretending to be on-air correspondents as kids, dorm rooms crammed with monitors and pizza boxes, plus photos from each of his projects.

Jenks' first major work was a bare bones documentary he conceived of and funded while in film school, called Room 335 (Available on iTunes). HBO bought the rights and then aired it to glowing reviews. ESPN funded his next project and MTV gave him a series after that. He relives these milestones in casual but vivid detail, like he's telling an old friend. His story is accessible, which makes it all the more motivating.

Andrew Jenks is not much older than the audience he is writing for and that lends an extra thrill to the book. This is happening now. He's turning his visions into real achievements, and his ascent is just beginning. His story proves true the age-old mantra: "you can do anything you set your mind to."

A young man works hard, stays true to his ideals, and demonstrates graciousness and humility on an exhilarating path to success. This is a positive message for every young person at all who has a dream.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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