Lindy Blues: The Big ScoopBy Dorian Cirrone
Illustrated by Liza Woodruff
Marshall Cavendish, April 2006
For ages 7-10
ISBN: 0761452842

IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Lindy Blues, Your Nose for News, is stumped when she hears about the missing ice-cream shop. How could Mr. Hoop’s Super Scoop go missing and then mysteriously reappear? But the news tip came from one of Lindy’s best news sources, Joshua and Amy Becker – and Lindy’s news sources are very important to her. Plus, Lindy knows the Beckers would never lie about ice cream. As Lindy sniffs around the neighborhood for clues, she realizes that this might be her toughest scoop yet! Time is running out for her Saturday night news program, and all Lindy has is a story about flowers and their biological clocks. Will she crack the case of the missing ice-cream store in time for the LBN newscast? Tune in and find out!


“Lindy Blues, a pint-sized investigative reporter with her own news show, wants to follow in the footsteps of her idol, Katie Couric. Although her cameraman is her little brother and her LBN – Lindy Blues Network – airs only in her garage on Saturday nights, Lindy tackles the latest breaking news with the panache and determination that rivals seasoned correspondents twice her age. “Cirrone offers readers a spunky, likable heroine who thinks on her feet and truly embodies an entrepreneurial spirit. Lindy’s investigation of a disappearing ice cream shop is just tricky enough to solve, keeping readers tuned in until the satisfying denouement. “Woodruff uses soft-pencil sketches to highlight the ups and downs of Lindy’s broadcasting adventures, bringing life to the characters. Cirrone’s mix of an intriguing mystery and a feisty, capable heroine will hold widespread appeal for readers.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A local reporter, Lindy Blues, with her own Network for News will definitely bring in today’s middle reader. With the use of today’s technology – such as instant messaging, e-mail, video cameras, and computers – the writer manages to keep current yet stay true to the reader’s age range. The soft cover, small size, and large text keep the book accessible and will invite the young reader. Black-and-white pencil illustrations are simple and fun. Lindy and her friend (and cameraman) Joshua set out to cover the most exciting story of their lives, the missing ice cream shop. With many twists and turns, Lindy and her family and friends all contribute clues, which eventually lead to the final cracking of the case of the Missing Scoop shop! This book is a fun and enjoyable mystery for young readers.”
Children’s Literature

“Liza Woodruff provides fun black and white drawings to pair with this story of intrigue and just desserts … kids seeking easy reads above the picture book level will find the plots involving.”
Midwest Book Review: Children’s Bookwatch

“Cirrone’s narrator introduces us to her neighborhood in a voice-over with a lively, sometimes droll humor that engages readers.”
Miami Family Magazine

“Smart, sassy, and charmingly illustrated in pencil by Liza Woodruff, the Lindy Blues books are a great match for younger middle graders.”

Excerpt from The Big Scoop

Reporter Lindy Blues here, Your Nose for News, bringing you the Number One news show in the neighborhood. True, it’s the only news show in the neighborhood. But who’s counting?
Whether it’s neighborhood news or a case to crack, Lindy Blues is there – unless, of course, I’m in school.
Let me tell you about my latest scoop.

Chapter One
A Call from the Capital

It’s Friday morning and a teacher workday. The offices of the Lindy Blues Network, also known as LBN, are quiet. I take the opportunity to sneak into the research department, which is also my brother Brett’s room, to use the computer. Brett does not always understand the importance of the Internet to an investigative reporter. But, fortunately, teenage boys are very sound sleepers.

I start to check my email for news tips. Suddenly, I get an instant message:

Rocketboy [8:45 AM]: come over here quick!!!

The message is from Joshua Becker, a fellow fourth-grader. Even though he is one of my best news sources, I need more information before I call the LBN news team into action.

Reportergirl [8:45 AM]: why?
Rocketboy [8:45 AM]: you won’t believe what’s missing this time!!!

Joshua’s news tips usually involve something missing. I don’t know why the Beckers seem to lose so many things. But a good reporter does not ask that kind of question. A good reporter just follows the news.

Reportergirl [8:45 AM]: what’s missing?
Rocketboy [8:45 AM]: just come quick if you want the biggest scoop of your life!!!

I notice Joshua uses a lot of exclamation marks in his instant messages. I also notice that he likes his news tips to be very mysterious. But my sources are important to me, so I try to get more information.

Reportergirl [8:45 AM]: where will you be?
Rocketboy [8:45 AM]: meet me at the Capital

That’s the Capital H – two trees and a hammock in front of the Becker House.

Reportergirl [8:45 AM]: be right there!

Just as I press Send, I realize I am still in my pajamas. I turn the computer off and dash to my bedroom.

I look for my Lindy Blues Investigative Reporter suit, but it’s in the laundry basket. Someone at LBN is not taking her job seriously.

“Mom,” I call several times. I finally find her in the back yard, kneeling next to some plants. “Why isn’t my Lindy Blues Investigative Reporter suit clean?”

Mom lets out a big breath. “I’ve been busy with these plants all week,” she says. “Why can’t you just wear shorts like everyone else?”

“Would Katie Couric wear shorts to cover the news?” I ask. Just so you know, Katie Couric, a famous television news person, is Lindy Blues’s personal idol. “Would Katie Couric allow her photographer to film her in anything but her best Investigative Reporter outfit?”

Mom doesn’t answer. She puts a scoop of dirt in a clay pot and pats it down. She takes off her gardening gloves and gets up from the ground. “Well … I have something hidden away in my closet that might work.”

I smile. Big time. Hidden surprises are right up there with good news tips. I follow Mom to her closet and watch as she grabs a plastic bag lying in full view next to her shoes. I make a note to myself: “Sometimes things can be hidden right under your nose – or your shoes.”

The bag crinkles as Mom pulls out a lavender suit with a mint green top. “How’s this?” she asks. “Aunt Caroline gave it to me after your cousin Olivia outgrew it. I was saving it for when you needed an outfit for a special occasion.”

“Perfect!” I say. I hug her hard. “Thank you from the entire LBN news team.”

Then I remember: My news team! I dash to the bedrooms, which double as the LBN headquarters. Brett, head of my research department, is still snoring. Because he can be very uncooperative when he is awakened, I decide to let him sleep. There is no need for research yet.

But I need my photographer right away. My little brother, Alex, is great with using a camera, but not so great with getting up in the morning. I shake him a couple of times.

“We’ve got a story to cover. Get ready. Quick!”
Alex jumps out of bed and grabs his camera bag. “Let’s go!” he shouts.
I’ve trained him well. Sort of. “Alex,” I say. “You’re not dressed yet.”
He looks down at his pajamas. “Oops.”

Because I am a lot faster at getting ready than Alex, I have enough time to pack our breakfast. I grab two boxes of Cheerios and two boxes of apple juice. Then I realize my mistake. I quickly exchange one of the apple juice containers for grape juice. Because Alex eats in alphabetical order, he should have grape juice so he can drink it after he eats his Cheerios. {Photographers can be very eccentric.)

When Alex comes into the kitchen, I hand him his cereal box. Then I tuck the juice box into his camera bag next to Dad’s old camcorder and Billy the Beaver. Alex got Billy the Beaver on his first birthday. Billy has been Alex’s constant stuffed companion ever since.

I make sure I have my microphone and my reporter’s notebook.

“Mom,” I yell out the kitchen door. “The LBN news team is off to cover a story.”
“Okay,” she yells from the backyard. “But remember to be back in time to go with me to your classroom.”
I stop short. “My classroom? But it’s a teacher workday. Why would I go to my classroom today?”
Mom marches into the kitchen with a potted plant in her hand. “Don’t you remember? I promised Ms. Blanco that we’d help set up these plants for next week’s science experiment.”

I cannot believe my mom is asking me to go to school on a teacher work day. “But, Mom, where is the news in a science experiment? Where is the excitement? Where is the mystery?”

Mom thrusts her potted plant toward me. “Look,” she says. “How can you get more exciting than this?”

I examine the plant: gray dirt, green leaves, half-opened blue flowers. Exciting is not exactly the word I would use to describe it. I make a note to myself: “Mom needs to get out more.”

Mom puts the plant on the kitchen counter. “Just make sure you’re back by noon. Ms. Blanco wants you to film the plants for Open House next week. She said something about extra credit.”

Extra credit is almost as good as surprises in closets and good news tips. I promise to be back in time. Then Alex and I head to the Capital.

Teacher’s Guide to The Big Scoop
Created by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer


Have you ever lost something or had it disappear? What did you do?
Can you tell time? How do you know what time of day it is without a clock? Can animals do this too? What about plants?

Discussion Questions:

Chapter One
Who is one of Lindy’s best news sources? What does this mean? What qualities do you think would make a great new source?
Why must Lindy go to school on a teacher work day? What types of clothes does she like to wear when she works on LBN? Why?

Chapter Two
What does she mean when she says, “If sentences were ice-cream cones, that one would be a triple dipper…” (p. 12) What is Joshua talking about?
What’s missing? What do you think happened to it? Will magic be involved? What makes you think so or not?

Chapter Three
Recount Amy’s version of the events.
How does Lindy rule out Joshua? Do you think she’s correct to do this? Why?

Chapter Four
Why doesn’t Lindy suspect Mr. Hoop? Would you?
What does Amy think was in place of the shop? Why do you think, this might be important?

Chapter Five
What kind of garden is Ms. Blanco creating? Did you learn anything new in this chapter? What was it? Do we often learn as much from fiction as non-fiction?
How do people act differently on camera? Do you?

Chapter Six
Is Amy lying about the disappearance? How does Lindy know she’s not?
Why do they think Mr. Hoop is now involved in the mystery? Do you agree?

Chapter Seven
What does she mean by “sleight-of-hand?” What kind of people use this technique?
How does Lindy know Mr. Hoop isn’t a magician?

Chapter Eight
Where does Lindy visit? Why ? What does she learn?
Where else does Lindy look for clues? Where would you look?

Chapter Nine
How does Lindy review the facts? Do you see any more clues she might be missing?
How do you think the two stories are related?

Chapter Ten
How did Lindy solve the case?
What is a landmark that you use in your own neighborhood?


Language Arts:
“If sentences were ice-cream cones, that one would be a triple dipper…” (p. 12)

Create your own comparisons about the following things:

  • a thunderstorm
  • a tiny puppy
  • something furry
  • a loud outfit
  • a long song, etc.

Lindy has to make sure that she can distinguish between a fact and opinion. What’s the difference between these two things? Write ten statements. Five of them should be facts, five of them opinions (mix them up) and then trade with a partner. Can you recognize which is which? Discuss your results.

Design your own garden using graph paper and pictures of flowers from magazines or nursery catalogs (you can sketch the plants if you prefer and color them). What theme will you decide on? Will it have a particular color story? Will the plants be perennials (which come back year after year) or annuals?

Create a map of your neighborhood from a bird’s eye view. What landmarks did you include? Be sure to label neighbor’s houses, stores, street names, and anything that is important to you and your friends.

Science/ Art:
Create a sun and moon from construction paper (or paint your own). Then, find pictures of animals that are nocturnal and diurnal (during the day). To further the project, choose an animal and create a piece of art that incorporates what you learned with a portrait of the animal.

This guide was created by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, a reading specialist and children’s author.
Visit her website to find dozens of other guides.

Chinese version of The Big Scoop!

Chinese Version Big Scoop