When she was just 9 years old, Hilde Lysiak became famous across the United States for reporting on difficult news stories. Now Hilde has written a book telling her own story, and sharing some of the challenges she faced.
Hilde Kate Lysiak’s father was a reporter for the New York Daily News. When she was young, he often took her to work with him, and she developed a strong interest in news stories and reporting.
When she was 8, Hilde started her own newspaper, called the Orange Street News (OSN). Her family lived on Orange Street. Hilde did the writing, her sister Izzy took pictures, and her father helped her organize and print the newspaper.
Hilde wanted to cover stories important to everyone in her town. She got into a habit of going on her bike, looking for news stories. Following the rules her father had taught her, she researched and reported stories in her monthly newspaper. She also started reporting on her own website and on YouTube.
OSN suddenly became famous when a murder happened in town, and 9-year-old Hilde was the first person to report it. Soon, news organizations around the country were doing stories on Hilde.
Not everyone was happy about Hilde’s efforts. Some people criticized her parents for allowing her to report on something as unpleasant as a murder. Others criticized Hilde for “pretending to be a reporter”. Some people even suggested she should be playing with dolls.
Hilde was upset by the complaints. She responded with a YouTube video. “I never began my newspaper so that people would think I was cute,” she said. “I want to be taken seriously. I’m sure other kids do, too.”
That wasn’t the last time Hilde had trouble getting people to take her seriously. Sometimes, it was because of her age. Other times, it was because she was a girl. But she never let that stop her. Hilde continued reporting.
In 2019, she made the news again when a law enforcement officer threatened to arrest her for filming him. Hilde knew her rights as a reporter were protected under the Constitution. Later, the town apologized to Hilde for the officer’s actions.
Hilde’s activities as a reporter have made her famous, and she has earned several awards.
With her father, Hilde has written a series of books for young people, called “Hilde Cracks the Case”. The books are based loosely on stories that Hilde wrote. The books have now been turned into a TV show called “Home Before Dark”.
In April, “Hilde on the Record” came out. In it, Hilde tells her own story, both the good parts and the sad parts. She talks honestly about the challenges she’s faced. Some of those challenges came from other people. But others came from Hilde herself, struggling to figure out who she was as she grew older.
For now, Hilde says she has given up reporting. But she’s still just 15, and has plenty of time to decide what she wants to do with her life. Her efforts have already inspired people around the world.