|Isabel Feeney, star reporter|
Author: Fantaskey, Beth
In the 1920s, a ten-year-old newsgirl who aspires to be a reporter at the Chicago Tribune investigates the murder of a gangster.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 180414
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 66492
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/16)
School Library Journal (10/01/15)
Booklist (+) (01/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/03/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Chicago in the 1920s provides the setting for this fast-paced mystery. Isabel Feeney is the spunky protagonist who makes friends, young and old, while hot on the trail of a killer. Isabel sells copies of the Chicago Tribune on the city streets to supplement her single mother's salary. When Isabel hears a gun fire, she runs toward the sound to an alley where she sees Miss Giddings, the kind and pretty young lady who regularly buys newspapers from her, kneeling over a dead man. Isabel is quickly involved in the investigation and befriends Maude Collier, a famous Tribune reporter whom she admires for her reporting excellence. Isabel has always aspired to be a female crime reporter, just like Maude, and now is her chance to investigate a real crime with her writing hero. Fantaskey keeps the chapters short and snappy, with each one ending on a mini-cliff-hanger, enticing kids to read on. There are guns and gangsters, future movie stars, glamour, sibling rivalries, bullet proof cars, polio, several possible suspects, and a host of eclectic personalities. Isabel is fearless but expresses her vulnerability in her desire to have friends. The author's historical note explains the inspiration for the novel: five real-life female reporters who wrote for the Chicago Tribune in the 1920s. VERDICT A not-to-be-missed novel for middle graders looking for a satisfying mystery with a daring female heroine.—Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2016 *Starred Review* On the frigid street corners of 1920s Chicago, 10-year-old Isabel Feeney hawks Tribunes to help pay the rent. But she doesn’t want to just sell papers—one day she wants to write for them, like her idol, Maude Collier. Isabel gets the chance to prove her mettle when one of her best customers, Miss Giddings, is accused of murdering her gangster boyfriend. Convinced her friend is innocent, Isabel begins her own investigation, which draws her into Chicago’s seamier side and into the path of Maude herself, who takes the enterprising girl under her wing. Fantaskey does an excellent job of conveying the flavor of the time period, drawing attention to the public’s fascination with murderers, bootleggers, and gangsters—in particular, the misplaced glamor associated with the women on Murderess’ Row. Isabel’s innocence and intelligence combine to form a complex character full of moxie. Her relationship with Maude is especially well drawn, as Maude treats Isabel’s determination to be a female crime reporter—not a recipe writer, like most women—with respect. The investigation and murder trial are laced with intrigue and excitement, and the pages will fly as readers hurry to see if the scrappy newsgirl can get the scoop that will save Miss Giddings from the noose. Showing surprising depth, this historical mystery will score big with young gumshoes and aspiring journalists. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.