Video Interview: Darcy Pattison

B.L. Ochman, Co-host of the Beyond Social Media Show, interviews author Darcy Pattison about her book, The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story.

video interview with Darcy Pattison, author of The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story|
2018 Notable Children’s Book in Language Arts from NCTE |

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Summary of the Interview

B.L. Ochman is fascinated by this true story and asks Darcy to summarize the story. She talks about the Nantucket Publicity Committee created in March, 1937, and most members of that committee were involved in the hoax.

B.L asks why this would be a good children’s book.

“Kids need,” Darcy says, “a non-political story to discuss fake news.”

The sweet spot for this book is for grades 3-6. A documentary on the story is in process and Darcy may appear in the documentary.

The backmatter of the book includes a timeline, quotes from Thomas Jefferson, and sources.

Thomas advocates for literacy and a free press in his quote: “Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.”

Later, his opinion turns cynical: “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.”

Darcy says these two quotes frame the discussion of a free press in America. A democracy needs a free press to keep check on the government; but the free press is also free to print lies. In the end, citizens must maintain a healthy skepticism and support the free press so that democracy can thrive.

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