The Weekly 411 (10/1/21)


© Heather Brockman Lee

Oct. 1, 2021 vol. 40

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

Author Spotlights

We are excited to feature author Michelle Quach and her debut YA/rom-com Not Here to Be Liked  (Katherine Tegen Books), out now.  Enter to win a copy!

cover art © Fevik

We are excited to feature author Carol Kim and her debut nonfiction book, King Sejong Invents an Alphabet, illustrated by Cindy Kang (Albert Whitman & Co.) out today!  Enter to win a copy!

Picture Book Giveaways

We are excited to host a giveaway for Amara's Farm by Janay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Samara Hardy (Peachtree Publishing), out now. Enter to win a copy in the Rafflecopter below.

About the book: A young girl searches for pumpkins on her farm in this joyful celebration of cool-weather fruits and vegetables, from the new Where in the Garden? series.

About the author:  JaNay Brown-Wood grew up with a passion for writing and drafted her first series of unpublished picture books in the second grade. After earning a BA in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles, an MA in Child Development from California State University Sacramento, and a PhD in Education from University of California Davis, JaNay still loves storytelling! Her first book, Imani’s Moon, was a NAESP Children’s Book of the Year and a Reading Is Fundamental Multicultural Book Pick. She lives with her family in California.

About the illustrator: Samara Hardy has always loved to draw. Unfortunately for her parents, this was often on their walls and furniture…with her mother’s lipstick. Realizing she might make a career out of this, she graduated with a degree in Illustration from Falmouth University and has since illustrated all kinds of wonderful things from picture books to reusable bags. She spends her days scribbling away and drawing by the sea in England.

a Rafflecopter giveaway   

We are pleased to give away a copy of You Might Be Special, by Kerri Kokias, illustrated by Marcus Cutler (Kids Can Press), out on Oct. 5. Enter to win a copy in the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book:  Do you ever feel like you're different from everyone else? Like there's no one quite like you? Then you might be special! Take this quiz to find out!

This playful book speaks directly to readers and asks questions to determine if they qualify as “special.” The first questions are pretty conventional: “Do you like to stay up late? Can you run fast and jump high? Are you sometimes wild and crazy?” Yes! Yes! Yes! But then: “Do people run away when they see your furry face and pointy teeth?” No? Definitely not a werewolf, then! This same pattern repeats for several fantastical creatures --- unicorns, dragons, mermaids. Then, finally, readers are reassured: though they may be only human, they are different from everyone else. There is no one quite like them. As the book affirms, “You're special because you're ... YOU!”

About the Author: Kerri’s writing features unique structures, playful language, humor, tension, tenderness, simple text, and complicated characters. She has a good vision for how text and art can work together to tell a complete story. Kerri credits most of her story ideas to her "fly on the wall” personality. This means she’s both a keen observer of social interactions and a nosey eavesdropper.  Kerri lives in Seattle, Washington with her family.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Young Adult Giveaway

We're excited to host a giveaway of The Stars in April by Peggy Wirgau (Illuminate YA Fiction), out now.

About the Book:  India, 1912. Ruth’s baby brother is ill, and her missionary parents decide the solution is to move the children across the world—to Michigan. Ruth must leave her Papa behind, abandon her dreams, and embark on an unpredictable journey, culminating in the voyage to New York aboard the luxurious, ill-fated RMS Titanic.

About the Author: Peggy Wirgau is a Michigan native and now lives in Delray Beach, Florida. She loves true stories from the past and writes through the eyes of ordinary people in history who faced extraordinary challenges and became heroes. Peggy has written for several magazines and contributed to Why? Titanic Moments. Her debut novel, The Stars in April, is based on the story of twelve-year-old Titanic survivor Ruth Becker. She is a member of ACFW, SCBWI, and Florida Writers Association.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct. 6, 7-9 p.m. ET Getting Your Graphic Novel Published. Join literary agent Maria Vicente, who teaches you how to turn your book idea from sketches in a notebook to a professional pitch package ready to share with agents and editors. ($58)

  • What: apply for one of 16 mentorships with award-winning book creators (PB text, illustration, MG, YA)
  • Who is eligible: children's writers or illustrators from diverse backgrounds
  • When to apply: Oct 1-31, 2021

  • What: submit a kid lit poem or story under 200 words based on a photo prompt
  • Who: un-agented writers
  • Prizes: critiques and other goodies from authors & agents
  • What: a Twitter pitch party for middle grade or younger graphic novel manuscripts
  • Who: un-agented writers or illustrators
  • Prize: editor or agent interest 


  1. So much going on this month! Thanks for this great info!

  2. The books all look like fun reads. Thanks for sharing and for the great info topics!

  3. This news of new books is exciting for this elementary school teacher.

  4. Fantastic group of books offered this week. Thank you for the chance to win copies for exciting reading time.

  5. Thanks, as always, for telling about these terrific books.

  6. Terrific selection of books--adding all to my wish list!

  7. Love this great selection of new titles. Congrats to everyone.

  8. Looking forward to reading these books! They look terrific!!

    Thanks for all you do for the kidlit world!!

  9. So much great news! Love the books! Congrats to all!


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