Chrissa Maxwell and her family have just moved to snowy Minnesota, and Chrissa has to start at a new school mid-year. Will she fit in? Can she find new friends?
On her very first day, Chrissa is seated with three girls who greet her with teasing and tricks. The "Mean Bees" really know how to sting—they bully Chrissa and the other kids in class, on the bus, online, and even at swim club. Chrissa can’t seem to make any new friends—not even with the girl who seems to need a friend the most. When the biggest bully becomes Chrissa’s swimming rival, the taunting finally goes too far.
Can Chrissa find a way to stand strong and stop
To help Chrissa’s story come to life onscreen, American Girl teamed up with HBO® to produce a direct-to-DVD movie. A script was written and the movie was produced at the same time that author Mary Casanova was completing the two Chrissa books.
In March of 2008, a talented crew and cast—including three mini llamas!—came together to shoot the movie in five weeks in and around Los Angeles, California. One of the challenges of the shoot was the weather: there is lots of snow in Minnesota in March but there was none in sunny Southern California, so snow had to be created through special effects to represent Minnesota. The cinematographer also had to work hard to avoid showing the palm trees and eucalyptus trees that surround Nana’s house!
As with any adaptation, the movie has both similarities to and differences from the books. Both focus on Chrissa’s relationship troubles, but there are differences in how Chrissa resolves her conflict with Tara, the Queen of the Mean Bees. But the big theme of friendship troubles and figuring out how to stand strong in the face of bullying is central to both the books and the movie.