9-Year-Old Reporter Lands a Book Deal

Hilde Lysiak
Hilde Lysiak

Reporter Hilde Lysiak, who made headlines across the world earlier this year for breaking news of a murder in her hometown of Selinsgrove, Pa., has signed a four book deal with the children’s publishing house Scholastic.

Each book in the “Hilde Cracks the Case” series will star Hilde and her older sister, Izzy, and feature a fictionalized version of a real-life news story she has covered for her own newspaper, The Orange Street News. Additionally, every book will close with a news article.

“It’s kind of crazy, I thought my parents were kidding at first when they told me,” Hilde said. “I can’t wait to see my book on a shelf.”

Hilde’s father, reporter and author Matthew Lysiak, will co-write the books which intend to teach younger readers the basic tenets of journalism as part of Scholastic’s illustrated early chapter book line “Branches.”

The first release in the series is scheduled to debut in the fall of 2017.

“We are very proud of Hilde. That girl never stops working,” Matthew said. “It took me 36 years to get my first book deal, so when Hilde received an offer at the age of 9 from one of the largest and most respected publishers in the world, we were just in awe.”

According to her father, work on the series has already begun.

“Hilde wants her hands in every part of the process. I think she likes it because it is the one time in her life where she gets to be my boss so she takes full advantage of that,” Matthew said. “It’s usually me sitting at a computer with her to my right eating something, complaining or dictating exactly what should happen. Her favorite thing to say is, ‘Dad, that’s boring. Let’s do this…’”

Although Hilde said she is excited to call herself an author, ultimately, her focus remains on her newspaper and budding journalism career. The Orange Street News, published once a month, currently maintains more than 700 paid subscribers, while the website reached 700,000 views at the end of July.

“I just want to keep working on my paper and have it get bigger. I want to be known not as a good young journalist but as a good journalist who happens to be young,” Hilde said. “I’m working hard to improve and keep getting better. I love reporting the news so I hope I can keep doing that, especially crime.”

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