Breaking News

Coming APRIL 28, 2022 from Regal House Publishing and Fitzroy Books

Breaking News is a contemporary middle grade epistolary novel told in the often conflicting journal entries, field notes, audio files, and school newspaper articles of three eighth grade students dedicated to searching for the truth…or maybe shielding us from it.

Things don’t usually come to a screeching halt at the RAT, also known as Ridgewood Arts & Technical School, Ridgewood City’s most prestigious progressive institution. But that’s what happens when Headmistress Hardaway interrupts class and proclaims, “A scandal has rocked the fundraising committee!” Everyone’s a suspect and Hunter Jackson, student council special investigator, vows to root out the student who’s heartless enough to steal donation money or die the death of a thousand forensic notes trying.

He’s not alone. Ridgewood Roar news editor, Anthony Ravello, and the rogue, indie-press pioneer, Liberty Lennon, plan to do some journalistic digging of their own as they race each other to scoop the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to their faithful readers…or at least their versions of it.

With reality getting murkier by the day, all students at the RAT can do is gobble up news bytes and wash them down with lockerside gossip as they try to unmask the classmate responsible for the missing funds.

“A cleverly crafted story teeming with crackling wit and whip-smart characters, Breaking News is a joyous and captivating ride.” 

Greg Howard, author of The Whispers and Middle School’s a Drag, You Better Werk!

“Frank Morelli offers a sneak peek into student reporters’ primary documents as they compete to get the scoop on a school-wide scandal. Breaking News gives middle grade readers multiple entry points and a fast pace to springboard important conversations about ethics, journalism and cooperation.” 

Beth Vrabel, author of The Newspaper Club and To Tell You the Truth

Breaking News takes off at a breakneck speed and doesn’t let up until its satisfying conclusion. Mix up one crime, a little insider knowledge, and two rival newspapers at the R.A.T. (Ridgewood Arts & Technology Middle School) and you’ve got a journalistic battle to uncover the truth. But what if that truth comes with personal consequences? A fast, fun read underpinned by ethical considerations.”

Shutta Crum, author of Thomas and The Dragon Queen and Spitting Image

“This just in! Breaking News sweeps the nation with wit, charm, and humor. Morelli crafts a fun, fast-paced narrative that documents two spirited middle school reporters and their comical journey to journalistic integrity. An entertaining and important story.”

Michael Hilton, author of Bobby Robot

“Reminds me of Avi’s Nothing But the Truth, only spunkier and with more teenage gossip. Readers will wrestle with the role of truth in journalism. They’ll also pick sides. And laugh. They’ll do a lot of laughing.”

Patrick Hueller, author of Kirsten Howard’s Biggest Fan and Read at Your Own Peril