The Weekly 411 (3/8/19)

© Jennifer Bower

Mar. 1, 2019 vol. 9

The Weekly 411 gathers all the links added to Kidlit411 each week. To receive this post by email, sign up for our email updates. Are you on Facebook? Join our Kidlit411 group for conversations & camaraderie. This week's illustration is by Jennifer Bower.


We are pleased to do a cover reveal for the MG novel, COUNT ME IN, by Varsha Bajaj (Penguin Young Readers: Nancy Paulsen Books (Aug. 27, 2019). Cover design by Maria Fazio:

Cover design @ Maria Fazio

About the book: Karina Chopra would have never imagined becoming friends with the boy next door--after all, they've avoided each other for years and she assumes Chris is just like the boys he hangs out with, who she labels a pack of hyenas. Then Karina's grandfather starts tutoring Chris, and she discovers he's actually a nice, funny kid. 

But one afternoon something unimaginable happens--the three of them are assaulted by a stranger who targets Indian-American Karina and her grandfather because of how they look. Her grandfather is gravely injured and Karina and Chris vow not to let hate win. When Karina posts a few photos related to the attack on social media, they quickly attract attention, and before long her #CountMeIn post--"What does an American look like? #immigrants #WeBelong #IamAmerican #HateHasNoHomeHere"--goes viral and a diverse population begin to add their own photos. Then, when Papa is finally on the road to recovery, Karina uses her newfound social media reach to help celebrate both his homecoming and a community coming together.

About Varsha Bajaj: Varsha Bajaj ( also wrote the picture books The Home Builders and This Is Our Baby, Born Today (a Bank Street Best Book). She grew up in Mumbai, India, and when she came to the United States to obtain her master's degree, her adjustment to the country was aided by her awareness of the culture through books. In addition to her previous picture books, she wrote the middle-grade novel Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood, which was shortlisted for the Cybils Award and included on the Spirit of Texas Reading Program. She lives in Houston, Texas.


Today we are excited to feature YA author Sarah J. Carlson and her  debut YA novel, ALL THE WALL OF BELFAST (Turner Mar. 12, 2019). Be sure to enter to win a copy (US only).

Cover design © Olga Grlic

We are also pleased to feature picture book author Shauna LaVoy Reynolds and her new book, POETREE, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani (Dial Books for Young Readers, Mar. 19, 2019). Enter to win a copy!

And we are pleased to feature picture book author Lindsay Leslie and her debut book, THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS, illustrated by Alice Brereton (Page Books, March 2019). Enter to win a copy!

Writing Courses

April 29, 4:00 - 5:15 p.m. First Pages in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction A strong opening chapter is essential in capturing not just an agent's attention, but in hooking your readers. But what makes a truly engaging opening? How much backstory is too much backstory, and what is connecting your reader to your main character? And is capturing the entire scope of a novel in the opening pages really all that necessary? In this lecture, literary agent Sarah LaPolla will discuss the best ways to effectively present voice, story, and character in your opening pages in ways that reach teen readers and keep an agent wanting more. (Discloure: the link above is an affiliate link; registering through this link will help support Kidlit411)

Submissions: Editors & Agents

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  1. Nice diversity here. Thank you for your wonderful work here Weekly 411.

  2. Thanks for all the news and giveaways!

  3. Lovely cover! Thanks for the news and giveaways! Always nice to catch up on what's happening. :)

  4. Congratulations! Looking forward to reading your new book!

  5. I'm looking forward to reading all of these books!


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