Hilde on the Record: Memoir of a Kid Crime Reporter by Hilde Lysiak

Published by Chicago Review Press

Summary:  Readers familiar with the Hilde Cracks the Case series will already be acquainted with Hilde Lysiak, who wrote this memoir at the age of 14.  The daughter of a New York Daily News reporter, she started tagging along with her dad when she was 4.  When the family moved to suburban Pennsylvania, Hilde knew enough about journalism to start her own newspaper.  She started off with human interest stories, but was soon reporting on more serious issues, including a local murder that she got an exclusive on (and also described how police were trying to cover up the crime).  Hilde and her somewhat unconventional family were targeted by social media critics, and she has dealt with depression and an eating disorder.  Ultimately, she opted to discontinue her journalism career, but has continued to speak out about the importance of a free press.  163 pages; grades 4-8.

Pros:  This book came to me via interlibrary loan right before I came down with Covid, and it was a perfect read while I was home.  Hilde is an engaging writer who doesn’t shy away from difficult times she’s had, and I found her determination and hard work inspiring.  I also admired her family’s do-your-own-thing approach to raising their kids, which seems to have been successful.

Cons:  I was a little sad to learn that Hilde has discontinued her journalism career and look forward to hearing about what she does next.

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