Cover image for Girl reporter blows lid off town!
Girl reporter blows lid off town!
Ellerbee, Linda.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins 2000.
Physical Description:
195 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Casey Smith, an intrepid eleven-year-old journalist, revives her middle school's defunct newspaper and investigates what looks like an environmental pollution cover-up at the local paper mill.
Reading Level:
440 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.7 5.0 47228.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.2 9 Quiz: 21749 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
North Collins Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Girl Reporter Trapped in Body of Eleven-Year-Old Girl!Meet Casey Smith, girl reporter extraordinaire. Sniffing out news? Casey will Rollerblade through the principal's office to get a scoop. There's just one obstacle: the perky, popular, people-pleasing Megan O'Connor, whose idea of a good story is something that makes you feel gooey inside. And this is the kid Casey is supposed to team up with to publish a school newspaper? "Get Real."""

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. "My name is Casey Smith and I am way too much for middle school," says the precocious narrator of Ellerbee's new series, Get Real. Set in a small town in the Berkshires, the books follow sixth-grade reporter Casey. Aided by the rest of her quirky staff and mentored by her Pulitzer Prize^-winning, live-in grandmother, Casey discovers the thrill of identifying and chasing down stories. Filled with flip, wisecracking banter, the books are fast-moving and fun, as Casey and her staff uncover local scandals and navigate middle-school social life. Some of the details seem too old for the intended readership (Jane Austen taught in a sixth-grade English class); Casey's reporting skills are unbelievably advanced, particularly in the first title; and language is uneven, with some cliched jokes, outdated phrases, and cartoonlike dialogue. But although these may not be entirely realistic stories, Ellerbee creates in Casey a passionate and likable character whose infectious enthusiasm will draw readers to the series. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ellerbee (And So It Goes) takes a sure and steady step onto new turf with this inaugural novel of her Get Real series. Casey Smith, the frank and flippant narrator of this fast-paced story, arrives on her first day of sixth grade eager to join the staff of the middle-school newspaper. But her English teacher delivers the bad news that the school paper has been defunct for years. Still worse, the next day Casey learns that another student has beat her to the punch and announced her intention to revive the publication. Prissy in pink, Megan couldn't be more different from the down-to-earth, high-top-wearing Casey. Nor could their visions of the paper's focus be further apart: while Megan wants to fill its pages with fluff coverage of "prom notes and bake sales," the heroine expects to tackle "REAL news" stories. When Casey suspects that the directors of a local paper mill are polluting a nearby river, she goes after her story with a zeal and persistence worthy of Ellerbee herself. The means by which Casey obtains the crucial evidence strains credibility a bit, but the issues, personalities and dialogue that the author introduces are inarguably authentic. In an articulate afterword, Ellerbee encourages readers to follow her heroine's lead and become involved in--and passionate about--their world. Casey grapples with the subject of cheating in Girl Reporter Sinks School!, the simultaneously released second volume of this promising series. Ages 8-12. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Sixth-grader Casey Smith is appalled when she discovers that her middle school does not have a newspaper. How is she supposed to be a real reporter without one? There is a glimmer of hope-her English teacher is willing to be the faculty advisor if Casey and Megan O'Connor can get a paper going. Both girls want to be editor-in-chief, but they are exact opposites. Casey wants to charge ahead on investigating stories in the outside world, while Megan thinks the paper should include everyday school activities. And, Casey has found what she thinks is a hot lead: indications that the local paper mill is polluting the river that runs through town. While she tracks down the story (which proves to be true), Megan actually puts the paper together. In the end, Casey realizes that although she may be the better reporter, Megan is the better editor. Casey, the narrator, is an appealing character-a go-getter who sometimes lets her enthusiasm get the best of her. Her focus on "the story" may annoy those around her, but readers always know that underneath everything, she is a good kid.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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