Book Title: Trouble In New York (available here)
Author; Sylvia Bishop
Illustrator: Marco Guadalupi
Publication Date: September 2019
Most Suitable For: KS2
Reviewed By: Caroline Wood, Library Manager
Sylvia Bishop’s latest novel Trouble In New York is such fun! It’s really unusual to find a historical novel for children which isn’t based either on WW2 or in the far distant past; a story set in the living memory of their grandparents is a real treat. There are just enough touches to locate you in the 1960s without the setting being overwhelming. It’s also a great look at a besetting issue of our times: fake news.
Jaime Creeden is a paperboy with a dream – one day he’s going to write the news, not just deliver it. He has his heart set on the Young Reporter of the Year Award and a position at the most powerful media outlet in New York, the Morning Yorker. One day, quite by chance, he delivers the newspaper to the owner of the paper, who offers him a tour around the Yorker headquarters. A lazy journalist sets Jaime the task of answering the phone from a tip-off, and the whole adventure rattles off into a crazy journey of double-crosses, blind alleys, and plucky sidekicks. Jaime himself is brave and has the truth-seeking heart of a journalist by vocation, but he’s perfectly happy to identify where he needs help and the expertise of others, so you get a real feel-good vibe from the teamwork as well.
Trouble In New York is really nicely paced – it’s a multi-layered mystery which could have quickly spiralled into far too many events in too little time, but Bishop gets the balance of action and downtime to figure out the clues just right. I would recommend this story to confident readers from Y3 upwards and it would be great to use as a class novel along a PSHE topic of fake news or English topics on constructing headlines and reporting events.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Caroline for reviewing it.
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