LIGHTS! CAMERA! ALICE!:The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker is a non-fiction picture book written by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Simona Ciraolo.

Here in America, we like to believe that the movie industry began in Hollywood. However, there was a little known young woman living in France who began to make what we think of as “movies” long before Hollywood existed.

Lights! Camera! Alice! tells the true story of Alice Blache’, who grew up in France and, by working for a camera company, became very good at using the new “moving picture” camera. Through hard work and perseverance, Alice convinced her employer to allow her to create “stories” on film using regular people as actors. Alice made the costumes, wrote the scripts (although these films were silent), and ran the camera. She “colorized” her film long before anyone in the United States ever thought to do so. Her hard work paid off with success and she immigrated to the United States, where she had many more adventures in film. Unfortunately, World War I and the Great Influenza of 1918 brought her business to a close, and she went back to France.

Although Alice had a few bumps along the way, she is a great example of grit and determination in the face of hardship.

This review was written by Dorothy S.