By B.L. Ochman
This is an important interview in this new era of fake news. The Nantucket Sea Monster – a Fake News Story, by Darcy Pattison, tells the tale of one of the greatest PR hoaxes of all time. It happened back in 1937 on Nantucket island, terrorizing people across the country.
The multiple award-winning book teaches children in grades three to six not to believe everything they read. Here is the reaction of one third grade class.
The newspaper was in on the stunt
There was no sea monster and the Nantucket newspaper and publicity committee were in on the stunt. Yet the news quickly spread from Cape Cod to California. The Nantucket Sea Monster demonstrates kids that hoaxes, free press, and publicity stunts can be made up and seem real.
Pattison teaches kids that fake news can also be applied to books, social media, and websites. Not everything published is accurate nor true. She teaches kids to ask questions and not to believe every story until they learn the facts.