We are thrilled that the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has named our book a 2018 Notable Children’s Book in Language Arts.
News of fake news has blanketed the political discussion for the past two years. In the midst of the accusations of truth and lies, it’s confusing to know how to discuss this issue with children. As students learn about civics and the American political system, balancing the need for a free press and the need to monitor the press’s truthfulness can become controversial.
That’s why children’s book author Darcy Pattison wrote THE NANTUCKET SEA MONSTER: A FAKE NEWS STORY. “It’s a non-political story about the balloons that fly in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. And it’s true.”
On Saturday, August 7, 1939, the Inquirer and Mirror newspaper on Nantucket Island reported sightings of a sea monster. Island residents were troubled and scared. Tensions mounted as footprints were found on Mandaket Beach. Expert biologists were consulted who said they couldn’t explain the reports or footprint photos. More stories of sightings were published in the August 14 issue of the Inquirer and Mirror and by now, the reports had gone out on the wire services with newspapers nation-wide reporting the incidents.
However, on August 18, the real sea monster appeared: a rubber balloon that would fly in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
It was all great fun, the newspapers said because 1) no one was injured, and 2) Macy’s didn’t attempt to commercialize or make money from the event.
But this was far more than just a publicity stunt: the newspapermen knew the story was fake and yet published it anyway.
Two Thomas Jefferson quotes are offered for students to debate:
1) Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all if safe.
2) Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.
The book is a Junior Library Guild selection and has just been named a 2018 National Council of Teacher’s of English (NCTE) Notable Children’s Book in the Langauge Arts. (NCBLA). For more information, Click Here.