The Nantucket Sea Monster (2017)

Written by: Darcy Pattison
Illustrated by: Peter Willis
Published by: Mims House
ISBN-13: 978-1629440835
ISBN-10: 1629440833
Audience: Kindergarten to 6th grade

Description: Do you believe everything you read in the newspaper? Early in August 1937, a news flash came: a sea monster had been spotted lurking off the shore of Nantucket Island. Historically, the Massachusetts island had served as port for whaling ships. Eyewitnesses swore this wasn’t a whale, but some new, fearsome creature. As eyewitness account piled up, newspaper stories of the sea monster spread quickly. Across the nation, people shivered in fear. Then, footprints were found on a Nantucket beach. Photographs were sent to prominent biologists for their opinion. Discussion swirled about raising a hunting party. On August 18, news spread across the island: the sea monster had been captured. Islanders ran to the beach and couldn’t believe their eyes.
This nonfiction picture book, the 2018 selection for Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Awards and 2017 Nonfiction Junior Library Guild Selection, is a perfect tool to discuss non-political fake news stories. Includes information about the freedom of the press guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, Thomas Jefferson’s quotes on fake news always being one of the costs of a free press, a historically accurate timeline of actual events, and a vocabulary list defining relevant terms.