Synopses & Reviews
In the late 1800s, the daring young reporter Elizabeth Cochrane—known by the pen name Nellie Bly—faked insanity so she could be committed to a mental institution and secretly report on the awful conditions there. This and other highly publicized investigative “stunts” laid the groundwork for a new kind of journalism in the early 1900s, called “muckraking,” dedicated to exposing social, political, and economic ills in the United States. In Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids budding reporters learn about the major figures of the muckraking era: the bold and audacious Bly, one of the most famous women in the world in her day; social reformer and photojournalist Jacob Riis; monopoly buster Ida Tarbell; antilynching crusader Ida B. Wells; and Upton Sinclair, whose classic book The Jungle created a public outcry over the dangerous and unsanitary conditions of the early meatpacking industry. Young readers will also learn about more contemporary reporters, from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to Amy Goodman, who have carried on the muckraking tradition, and will get excited about the ever-changing world of journalism and the power of purposeful writing. Twenty-one creative activities encourage and engage a future generation of muckrakers. Kids can make and keep a reporter’s notebook; write a letter to the editor; craft a “great ideas” box; create a Jacob Riis–style photo essay; and much more.
“What an engaging concept! Not only is this book very informative about Nellie Bly and other investigative journalists, but the activities are extremely engaging and complement the well-researched narrative. It’s not hard to imagine a new generation of muckrakers being inspired by these pages.” —Arthur “Tri” Fritz, editor, The Nellie Bly Collection, and creator, nellieblyonline.com
“An engaging book with very rich stories about the early muckrakers who helped to define journalism as a public service. Ellen Mahoney’s storytelling approach is perfect for young readers, and each chapter unfolds as an adventure.” —Suzanne Lysak, assistant professor, broadcast and digital journalism, Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications
"This outstanding work of nonfiction is sure to inspire a new generation of investigative journalists." —Teacher Librarian
“With excellent content, an appealing layout, and an exciting topic, this book is a joy to read and explore.” —Booklist
An interactive activity book that details the muckraking era
Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids brings to light the evolving world of American journalism, from the late 1800s to today. Focusing on the bold, audacious investigative reporter Nellie Bly, one of the most famous women in the world in her day, the book presents journalism in a fun, inventive, and exciting way. Budding reporters learn how Bly, who so desired to work in the male-dominated world of reporting, willingly feigned her own insanity to be committed to a mental asylum so she could go undercover and write about it. Providing a comprehensive look at early social reform writers and reporters who helped transform journalism, the book also introduces young readers to four famous American muckrakers—Jacob Riis, Ida Tarbell, Ida B. Wells, and Upton Sinclair—and concludes with a look at some of the modern era’s most exciting and accomplished journalists. Twenty-one creative activities encourage a new generation to carry on the muckraking tradition as kids learn how to make and keep a reporter’s notebook, write a letter to the editor, craft a “great ideas” box, and much more. Packed with compelling photos and interesting sidebars, Nelly Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids will get young readers excited about the world of journalism and especially about writing.
About the Author
Ellen Mahoney is an affiliate faculty instructor in the department of journalism and technical communication at Metro State University of Denver and is the coauthor with astronaut Edgar Mitchell of Earthrise. She has worked for Walt Disney Imagineering as a staff writer; produced radio features for the BBC World Service; and contributed as a feature article writer and photographer to Boulder Weekly, Center for Resource Conservation Magazine, Daily Camera, Edible Front Range Magazine, Longmont Ledger, and YES! Magazine. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.