cover image Hero Dog!

Hero Dog!

Hilde Lysiak with Matthew Lysiak, illus. by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. Scholastic, $15.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-338-14156-6

Part of the Branches line of early chapter books, this opening entry in the Hilde Cracks the Case series marks the fiction debut for 10-year-old Hilde Lysiak, who publishes a newspaper in her Pennsylvania hometown. Writing with her father (also a reporter), she unspools a mystery inspired by a story she covered in her real-life paper. When there’s a break-in on Orange Street and the police won’t share details, Hilde investigates, uncovering baked-goods rivalries, a ransacked chicken coop, and more; Hilde’s notes to herself appear throughout, emphasizing the importance of asking questions and paying attention when reporting. It’s a light, quick-moving mystery, and the young author’s backstory will undoubtedly inspire many aspiring writers, reporters, and sleuths. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 6–8. [em]Author’s agent: Sharlene Martin, Martin Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Mela Bolinao, MB Artists. (Sept.) [/em]