Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Journalistic Integrity: Nancy Clancy--Late-Breaking News! by Jane O'Connor

"The Gazette! It's here!" Nancy and Bree shouted. They were both waving the latest issue of the Third Grade Gazette. A gazette was the same thing as a newspaper but sounded much more elegant and French.

"Nothing in here is big news," said Bree. "See what's on the front page. 'Fun at the Planetarium' was a story about a class trip. "This doesn't even count as news."

"True," said Nancy. "I want to uncover big news."

Nancy is determined to uncover some BIG news for the next issue of the Gazette. But the news she stumbles upon at home is disturbing news. Dad is considering doing accounting from home instead of going to the office. That's news, but that's not all. Nancy's parents are thinking about moving to a bigger house, one with room for an office for Dad! That's awful news. Nancy just can't leave her school and her best friend Bree!

And then there's more bad news. When Nancy gets sick at recess the next day, she goes to her classroom for her backpack so she can leave early. Outside the door she hears her teacher Mr. Dudenay talking to someone on his phone.

"You know, it's something I've been thinking about least a year." Mr. Dudeny said. "Yeah, of course it'll be hard after being here so long."

Nancy didn't mean to eavesdrop. but it was impossible not to hear.

Mr. Dudeny said, "Of course, I'm sure going to miss them. But I keep telling myself--time for a change. Listen, gotta go. The kids will be back any minute. Later, dude!"

Mr. Dudenay is leaving? That's the kind of big story Nancy wanted, but one she doesn't want to have to write. But she just has to tell her best friend Bree. She calls Bree from her bedroom so she won't give her any germs. The sensible Bree listens carefully and cautions Nancy.

"You may be jumping to conclusions. You have to make sure of what the facts mean." Verifying facts was something every reporter did, Mr. Dudeny has explained, to make sure their story was accurate.

Bree promises not to share the story, but lets it slip when the empathetic Clara asks her why she looks so worried. And when Nancy goes back to school she discovers that her news has somehow leaked throughout both third grades. Not only has she lost control of her big story, but it's not even news anymore. In fact, when Nancy goes to apologize to her teacher for eavesdropping, she learns that her big story is not accurate, either. Mr. Dudeny is not changing schools; he just changing apartment mates for a new place.

But there is a bombshell news story for the Clancy clan, in Jane O'Connor's Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Late-Breaking News! (Harper, 2017). In this eighth and last in the Nancy Clancy chapter book series, Nancy does comes up with a lead on why her her parents are thinking of a new house and why Dad is going to work from home. But this big news is good news, when she learns that little sister JoJo is going to be a big sister, too--in about six months. The family is growing and so is their house, with a new addition for Dad's office and for a new bedroom with--Ooh-La-La! a private bath--for Nancy. Now Nancy understands the reasons for not leaking unproven "facts" before getting the whole story, that "journalistic integrity" that Mr. Dudeny has been teaching them about.

For young Nancy fans and readers moving on to chapter books, this series offers a transitional step toward middle reader novels, with longer chapters and more a more complex plot line. Other books in the series include Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth, Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Secret of the Silver Key, Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer and Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy Sees the Future.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home