Hilde Lysiak: reporter, author, 10-year-old

CONCEPCIÓN DE LEÓN for The New York Times

The first book in the “Hilde Cracks the Case” series opens with 9-year-old Hilde Lysiak outside her local police station in the town of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, following up on a tip about a break-in on Orange Street. The on-duty officer refuses to divulge any information, but if she’s going to break the story in her newspaper, The Orange Street News, she has to investigate using six basic reporting questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

“In the first chapter, Hilde is doing the exact same thing I did in real life,” said Hilde, the now 10-year-old reporter upon whom the book is based. She visited The Times recently, proudly rocking peach-colored socks featuring raccoons eating doughnuts.

“Hero Dog” is the first of six books in a series featuring Hilde; they draw significantly from her experiences chasing the news in real-life Selinsgrove, where her parents give her a 2-mile-wide stamping ground. The books, which Hilde works on with her father, Matthew Lysiak, include definitions for terms like a “deadline” or a “press pass” and reporting tips like the six questions, which she used to write on her arm in marker so she would not forget them.

The second book in the series was released Tuesday. Hilde’s story has also been optioned by Paramount TV and Anonymous Content for a television series.


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