Playing detective is one of the cornerstones of make-pretend. Peering at things with magnifying glasses, doodling sketches of your neighbor’s dog because he’s a ‘suspect’, and wearing Sherlock hats even though it’s 80 degrees out are all in a young kid’s repertoire. It’s really a shame none of us ever stopped to think, ‘Hey, maybe this could be a real job!’ There’s one girl, however, who did take her detective-fantasy to the next level.
Hilde Lysiak is unlike any kid – or aspiring journalist – we’ve seen. At eight years old, she founded and began writing Orange Street News, the only monthly print newspaper in her 5,000-person-strong Pennsylvania town. Yes, it’s textbook adorable, from riding to breaking news on her pink bike to her homemade press credentials. But make no mistake: this isn’t child’s play (forgive me for the pun). Lysiak, just as any professional reporter would, actively courts hard news: town hall meetings, natural disasters, and yes, murders.
Her work has received national attention, from a full profile in the Columbia Journalism Review to a special award at the Tribeca Film Festival for scooping local news outlets on the coverage of a suspected murder:
If all that wasn’t an accomplishment in itself, Lysiak just topped herself twice in one week. Yesterday, Scholastic announced that they had signed Lysiak to a four-book deal of early chapter books. She plans on co-writing the books with her father Matthew, who is also a reporter (I guess we see where he gets it from). The series will follow Hilde who will be breaking cases inspired by some of her reports, just like “a real-life Harriet the Spy”. The first installment, Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog!, is set to be released in September 2017, with the last three arriving over the following eight months.
Wasting no time after hearing that announcement, Hollywood came a-knocking in its ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ fashion. Today, it was announced that a number of studios are vying for the rights of Lysiak’s to-be-released books. We’ll have to wait for her assured-bestselling series to be adapted into a movie or series, but with the breakneck pace in which she’s accomplishing things, it might not be too far off.
Featured image courtesy of Amanda August / The Daily Item.