9-year-old journalist scoops book series deal


Hilde Lysiak, the nine-year-old reporter who has run the Orange Street News website since 2014, first came to the media’s attention following her response to criticism from residents in her town. In a video that went viral, Lysiak defended her right to report, and ended her speech on a memorable mic drop: “If you want me to stop covering news, then you get off your computers and do something about the news. There, is that cute enough for you?”

Hilde uses her bicycle to get around her home town of Selinsgrove to report on crime. Her sister Izzy acts as cameraman and her father Matthew, an author and former New York Daily News reporter, helps her with the website. Hilde has her own network of sources, and sometimes even reports on crimes hours before her adult competition arrive on the scene.

“Hilde Cracks the Case”

This week Scholastic announced that it had bought the rights to a series of four books co-written by Hilde Lysiak and her father. The series will be called “Hilde Cracks the Case” and will feature fictionalized versions of real-life news stories that the young reporter has covered. The main character, Hilde, will be accompanied by her sister on the page just as in real life.

“Hilde Cracks the Case” will be a 96-page series with illustrations by an artist yet to be selected. The series aims to help teach readers the basic questions of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, how. Each story will also finish with a news article.

Launched in 2013, the Branches line at Scholastic is intended for newly independent readers, generally children aged 6-8, and are designed to help with reading confidence.

The first in the “Hilde Cracks the Case” series is set to be published in fall 2017.