Big Book Deal For Little 9-Year-Old Girl As Film/TV Rights Up For Grabs

James Morehead

EXCLUSIVE: Scholastic has acquired the worldwide rights to four books by 9-year-old Hilde Lysiak — to be co-written with her father, reporter Matthew Lysiak — and now the film/TV rights are being sold off. Lysiak, who rides around on her pink bike in search of stories, recently rose to fame for being the first reporter to break a story on a murder in her hometown in Pennsylvania. She scooped the local paper on it and, as a result, was awarded the Tribeca Disrupter Award at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Paradigm is repping the film and television rights for the series. Not surprisingly, we hear that there have been several parties interested in buying little Lysiak’s life rights. The young reporter, who fancies herself as the real-life Harriet the Spy, also has covered fires, tornado damage and a local story about how a dog thwarted a break-in. The book series, which will bow via Scholastic’s Branches label, is targeted for readers ages 6-8. The first book will be published in fall 2017 under the series title Hilde Cracks the Case.

The four books, which will be released over an eight-month period, are based on true news stories that she has broken throughout her budding career. The mystery series stars Hilde along with her older sister Izzy as her sidekick/newspaper photographer. Part Harriet the Spy, part Nancy Drew, the books have been described as “realistic fiction” as the two girls stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

The first book’s publication date will be September 2017 with Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog! The second one, Bear on the Loose! drops only two months later on November 2017. The third one, UFO Spotted! drops January 2018. The fourth book Fire! Fire! will be published May 2018.

Lysiak publishes her scoops in the Selinsgrove, PA,’s monthly newspaper The Orange Street News. The paper has 700-plus paid subscribers and is read by hundreds of thousands more on her website.

The deal was negotiated by Sharlene Martin at Martin Literary & Media Management, and Katie Carella, Senior Editor, Scholastic. Martin previously sold the film rights for Geri Spieler’s award-winning book, Taking Aim at the President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford. Those went to Chappaquiddick filmmakers Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan.

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