The Weekly 411 (2/18/22)

© Lisa Johnston Hancock

 Feb. 18, 2022 vol. 7

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 and camaraderie. This week's illustration is by Lisa Johnston Hancock.

Author Spotlights

We are thrilled to feature Heather Kamins and her debut Young adult novel, The Moth Girl (Putnam Books for Young Readers/ Penguin Teen), out on March 8th. Enter to win a copy!

Cover artist: Hsiao Ron Cheng, Designer: Kristin Boyle

We are thrilled to feature Carolyn Tara O'Neil and her debut YA historical thriller, Daughters of a Dead Empire (Roaring Brook Press), out on Feb. 22. Enter to win a copy!

Book designer: Aurora Parlagreco. Cover artist: Aitch

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are excited to host a giveaway of the middle grade novel, Ripped Away, by Shirley Reva Vernick (Regal House Publishing, Feb. 2022). Enter to win a copy! 

design by Lafayette & Greene

About the Book: A fortune teller reveals that classmates Abe and Mitzy may be able to save someone’s life…and then she sweeps them to the slums of Victorian London in the middle of the Jack the Ripper spree. To get back home, they’ll have to figure out how the fortune teller’s prophecy is connected to one of history’s most notorious criminal cases. They’ll also have to survive the outpouring of hate toward Jewish refugees that the Ripper murders triggered. This story is based on the real experiences of Jewish immigrants to London during the Jack the Ripper spree, when xenophobia ran high. For ages 11+.


About the AuthorShirley Reva Vernick is the author of four novels for young readers. The Blood Lie is an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Readers pick and a Sydney Taylor Book Award honoree. Remember Dippy won the Dolly Gray Literature Award from the Council for Exceptional Children. The Black Butterfly is a Junior Library Guild selection. Ripped Away was released last week. 


Shirley is a graduate of Cornell University and an alumna of the Radcliffe Writing Seminars. When not creating stories, she mentors incarcerated individuals with their writing via the Prisoner Express program. Please see for more.

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For Writers

Crystallize the Stakes

6 Tips on Writing for Children

C.S. Lewis on the Three Ways of Writing for Children and the Key to Authenticity in All Writing

Picture Books

Write a Picture Book: How Magical Stories Come to Life 

Questions to Consider Before Writing a Children’s Book

Middle Grade

Kidlit Genres Explained: Middle Grade, YA, New Adult, & More 

Five Wisdoms About the Middle Grade Market

Mentor Programs

With Pitch Wars and #Pitmad shutting down, check out other mentor programs added to our Mentor Programs page (with many more listings):

  • What: apply for a four-month mentorship for your PB, CB, MG, or YA followed by an agent showcase in September 2022
  • When to apply: April 7-8, 2022
  • What: a mentorship program for writers who identify as Latinx
  • Who: un-agented, unpublished writers of books
  • When to apply: September 2022
  • What: pairs writers from underrepresented groups with experienced book publishing editors (from Simon & Schuster)
  • When to apply: Spring 2022

  • What: submit a picture book manuscript (fiction or nonfiction)
  • Who: SCBWI members with no picture book manuscript or who haven't sold a PB manuscript in five years
  • Prize: two $1,000 grants (one for fiction, one for nonfiction)


  1. Thank you for all the helpful links and Love reading the back story and journey of these two titles.

  2. Ripped Away has such a unique and exciting premise and the cover is beautiful and haunting.

  3. I love the cover of Ripped Away! Can't wait to check it out!

  4. The cover of Ripped Away is fantastic! I know it would get the attention of the students browsing in my school's library.

  5. Ooooh, sounds spooky! And very dangerous! Congratulations!


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