Harris Elementary/Middle School has a student newspaper with the catchy name of “The Slash”. Adam and Jennifer are coeditors, with a team of other students eager to report the happenings around school as well as the community. The youngest member of the team is Phoebe, who is only in 3rd grade, but is brilliant.
Every issue of the school newspaper has to be approved by their principal, Mrs. Marris. The kids write articles about things like the quality of cafeteria food, how to prepare for tests, and a feature story about their beloved janitor. Then an elderly woman in their community dies and leaves some money to the school.
Mrs. Marris tells Adam and Jennifer to do a story about her. In the process of researching the story, the coeditors make some unpleasant discoveries. The pressure is on them to write what the principal wants them to write. But being journalists – albeit young journalists – they cannot rest until the truth is revealed.
This book is similar in flavor to the “Theodore Boone” kids’ series by John Grisham. Young people are tackling grown-up work, thinking seriously about what they are doing, and trying to do what is right. It’s a little unrealistic, as I don’t think most kids would have the time to do everything that the characters in the book are doing. But still, it shows young people in a positive, hard-working light, searching for the truth and revealing falsehoods.
I would recommend this book for kids about 4th grade and up.