The Weekly 411 (9/16/22)

© Jenn Kocsmiersky
Sept. 15, 2022 vol. 37

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 Jenn Kocsmiersky.

Author Spotlights

We're excited to feature author NoNieqa Ramos and their newest picture book, Beauty Woke, illustrated by Paola Escobar (Versify), out now. Enter to win a copy by clicking on the link to the spotlight interview!

We're excited to feature author George Jreije and his debut middle-grade novel, Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria, (HarperCollins) coming out on October 4Enter to win a copy by clicking the link to the spotlight interview!

Cover art credit goes to Khadijah Khatib

Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book A River's Gifts: The Mightly Elwha River Reborn, by Patricia Newman, illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Millbrook Press, Sept. 2022). Enter to win a copy in the Rafflecopter below.

About the Book: For thousands of years, the Elwha River flowed north through the Pacific Northwest, sharing its gifts with the animals, plants, and people along its banks. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, who call themselves the Strong People, caught salmon from the river, taking only what they needed. River, forest, salmon, and Strong People nourished one another. Everything changed when strangers arrived in the 1790s. They did not understand the river’s gifts, and they saw the land and the river as theirs to tame. In time, they built two dams to provide electricity to a growing town, which flooded the Strong People’s land and hurt the salmon that fed the river.


Yet this is not the story of a tragedy. Sibert honoree Patricia Newman and award-winning illustrator Natasha Donovan join forces to tell a tale of hope and renewal, showing how the Strong People, a national park, and others worked together to remove the dams and restore this precious ecosystem so that all could enjoy the river’s gifts once again.

Kirkus starred review – “Beautifully illustrated and informative this story conveys the fragility of our environment and the need to protect it.”


Booklist starred review – “Effectively using a compelling story to illustrate the concept of rewilding, this informative, striking presentation is powerful… and with all set on a backdrop of Donovan’s beautiful pen, ink, and computer-generated images of the river, its people, and its wildlife, Newman could have another award winner on her hands.” 


About the Author: Patricia Newman is grateful for nature’s gifts and is happiest outside near water. When she was a student, her teachers helped her make connections between what she learned in class and what she saw in the wider world. Understanding those connections inspired her to protect nature. As an author, she shows readers how their actions ripple around the world, empowers them to find their own connections to nature, and encourages them to use their imaginations to act on behalf of their communities. Her other distinguished titles include Planet Ocean; Eavesdropping on Elephants; Sibert Honor title Sea Otter HeroesZoo Scientists to the Rescue; and Plastic, Ahoy!


About the Illustrator: Natasha Donovan is the illustrator of the award-winning Mothers of Xsan series (written by Brett Huson) and the picture book biography Classified (written by Traci Sorell). She illustrated the graphic novel Surviving the City (written by Tasha Spillett), which won a Manitoba Book Award and received an American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA) honor. She also made the art for the graphic novel Borders, an adaptation of the short story written by Thomas King. Natasha is Métis, and she spent her early life in Vancouver, British Columbia. She now lives with her partner Sky and their dog Luna, and they currently split their time between Washington State and British Columbia. When she’s not drawing, she takes every opportunity to explore the magical rainforest that surrounds her.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Diversity in Kid Lit

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Help get diverse books into the hands of the kids that need them! Sign up to be a book reviewer with Multicultural Children’s Book Day and receive a FREE diverse children’s book. Join our huge celebration of diversity in children’s literature Jan. 26, 2023, and help make sure all kids have access to multicultural books.  (MCBD is a non-profit whose mission is to dramatically increase access to diverse children’s books.  We aim to show that there is a real demand for diverse children's books and strive to get more of them published. To date, Multicultural Children’s Book Day, along with literacy partners, authors, and publishers, has donated over 10,800 books to parents, teachers, and librarians.) Sign up here:


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  1. Natashas book sounds truly intriguing. I would love to read it!

    1. I meant Patricia's book. And I bet Natasha's illustrations will be great too!

  2. I cannot wait to read this book!

  3. A River's Gifts sounds amazing and focuses on a topic I care about deeply.

  4. A River's Gift sounds like a great mentor text for teaching about ecosystems and how each animal plays a role in it!

  5. A River's Gift sounds like a fantastic book, perfect for young nature lovers! I look forward to reading it especially since I live in a region where dams created a reservoir to supply 40% on NYC's drinking water (at the expense of drowning many towns).

  6. As a cover lover I can't get enough of these. 💕

  7. A River's Gift sounds like it would be a great addition to the environmental studies unit in our Grade 4 enriched studies classrooms!


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