An aspiring journalist finds romance and adventure in the newsroom.
Sixteen-year-old Sam D’Angelo has a dull summer internship writing the obituary column for the Herald Tribune, the local newspaper where she lives in northern New Jersey. In spite of the efforts of her friend, party-girl Shelby, to get Sam to take a break from her strictly work-focused routine, Sam remains chained to her desk, a dedicated newspaper writer but a miserable failure in the social sphere. As she puts it, “my own metamorphosis from ugly duckling to swan stalled out in the Cornish-game-hen stage.” Sam turns out to have a significant talent for writing, and she gets a break when a Holocaust survivor chooses her to record his story, which then makes the front page. An even bigger break comes when she decides to do a bit of sleuthing to help a fellow reporter trying to expose the local mayor, whom he suspects of corruption. Together with her boyfriend, fellow intern AJ, Sam is on the case. Something of a love note to print journalism, the story is nevertheless snappy and contemporary, furthered by Sam’s wry, self-deprecating narration and convincingly colloquial dialogue.
Cleverly titled, realistically written, and on the whole engaging and sympathetic, this story rings true. (Fiction. 13-17)