Meet the real-life Harriet the Spy: Hilde Lysiak, the nine-year-old reporter, just landed a book deal with Scholastic for a detective series based on her real life adventures. Hilde has already built a sizeable online following thanks to her monthly newsletter, the Orange Street News, which covers the goings-on of Selingsgrove, Pennsylvania, where Hilde lives. To get the stories, Hilde rides her pink bicycle all over town reporting on natural disasters, local heroes, and even crime scenes.
Her newsletter has over 700 paid subscribers, and is read online by hundreds of thousands more — and now it's time for the next big project. Scholastic has just acquired world rights to four detective novels, written by the nine-year-old and her father, reporter Matthew Lysiak. The book series, entitled Hilde Cracks the Case, will be part of Scholastic's Branches line, which is aimed at young readers aged between six and eight years old — but I have no doubt that many of Hilde's older fans will be clamoring to get their hands on the books as well.
Hilde Cracks the Case will star the badass reporter Hilde herself and her older sister, and each book will cover a fictionalized version of a real event that Hilde once covered in her newsletter. The books should introduce younger readers to the basics of journalism, and how to ask the right questions. For the older readers, they'll just be plain adorable.
The first book in the Hilde Cracks the Case series is due out in fall 2017. Each book will be fully illustrated, and will end with a news article to capture the imaginations of budding young journalists. Watch this space: before long, newspapers across the country will be filled with pre-teen bylines, bringing us the hard-hitting news.
Image: Courtesy of Scholastic