Type: Nonfiction
Approximate Age Range: (MG) 8-12 years
Activities: 21
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, © 2015


Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids

Mighty Muckrakers from the Golden Age to Today

  • Selected for Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2016, a cooperative project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council.

Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids tells the story of the amazing reporter Nellie Bly, and the early muckrakers who used the power of the pen to bring about social reform in America. Muckrakers were newspaper, magazine, and book writers who “raked up the muck” of society to tell readers what was really happening with important issues such as child labor, government corruption, monopolies, poverty, racism, suffrage, unhealthy food practices, and violence at the turn of the century. Although Nellie Bly did not have formal training as a journalist, she went on to become a top reporter in the male-dominated newspaper world of New York City. At one point she was a worldwide celebrity. The book also highlights key muckrakers of the late 1800s and early 1900s including Jacob Riis, Ida Tarbell, Ida B. Wells, and Upton Sinclair. Readers will also learn about acclaimed modern-day muckrakers including Amy Goodman, Michael Moss, Annie Leonard, and Bill Moyers. In addition, a timeline, informative resource section and 21 fun and relevant activities are included.

“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

Q & A

How did you learn about Nellie Bly?

What was so interesting about her?

How did she finally get out of the asylum?

How did she become a worldwide celebrity?

What was it like choosing the various muckrakers featured in the book?

How will this book help young readers?