The Weekly 411 (1/13/23)

© Gillian Eilidh O'Mara

 Jan. 13, 2023 vol. 2

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 Gillian Eilidh O'Mara.

Kid Lit News

Publishing Trends (Twitter thread by agent Carly Watters)

Middle Grade Giveaways

We are excited to host a giveaway of the middle grade graphic novel, Speak Up! by Rebecca Burgess (Quill Tree Books 2022). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book: Twelve-year-old Mia is just trying to navigate a world that doesn’t understand her true autistic self. While she wishes she could stand up to her bullies, she’s always been able to express her feelings through singing and songwriting, even more so with her best friend, Charlie, who is nonbinary, putting together the best beats for her.

Together, they've taken the internet by storm; little do Mia’s classmates know that she’s the viral singer Elle-Q! But while the chance to perform live for a local talent show has Charlie excited, Mia isn’t so sure.

She’ll have to decide whether she’ll let her worries about what other people think get in the way of not only her friendship with Charlie, but also showing everyone, including the bullies, who she is and what she has to say.

About the Author-Illustrator: Rebecca Burgess is a comic artist and illustrator working in the UK, creating award winning published and small press work. Along with drawing comics for their day job, Rebecca also loves drawing webcomics in their free time. Being autistic, they are particularly passionate about bringing more autistic characters into comics and stories! Outside of drawing comics and cuddling their cat, Rebecca also loves playing RPGs with friends, going on deep dives into history and growing vegetables in their humble Bristol garden.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We're pleased to host a giveaway of the latest middle grade book in the Ballpark Mysteries series, The Black Cat Change-Up, by David A. Kelly, illustrated by Mark Meyers (Curveball Books 2022). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the book: Why is a black cat haunting the New York Mets? Kate and Mike arrive in New York for a big game against the Chicago Cubs, but Cookie, the team’s star hitter, is rattled by a phantom feline. Without a win at that night’s game, the Mets’ season might be over. Can Mike and Kate figure out who’s bringing a black cat and bad luck to the team before the big game?


Ballpark Mysteries are the all-star matchup of fun sleuthing and baseball action, perfect for readers of Ron Roy's A to Z Mysteries and Matt Christopher's sports books, and younger siblings of Mike Lupica fans. Each Ballpark Mystery also features Dugout Notes with more amazing baseball facts.


About the Author: David A. Kelly is a former Little League right fielder and the author of the Ballpark Mysteries and MVP sports book series from Random House, as well as Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse, and the picture book Miracle Mud.  He’s also the author of an upcoming picture book Tea Time on the Moon about Apollo 14 and golf on the moon. In previous lives he got paid to go on vacation and write travel articles for newspapers like the New York Times and Boston Globe. He has also spent many years writing about technology. He currently lives outside of Boston. For more information, visit, or find him on Twitter at @DavidAKelly, Instagram at @DavidAKellyBooks, or Facebook at @BallparkMysteries


About the Illustrator: Mark Meyers studied illustration at the Academy of Art University, where he earned a Bachelor degree in Illustration. Now his days are spent drawing and painting pictures filled with kids, escaping circus monkeys, and everything in between.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Freelance Editors & Critiques

Chelsea Tornetto

Blogs to Follow

Realm of Books - book review site for young readers

Mrs. Bookdragon - reviews of middle-grade books

Ms. Yingling Reads - reviewing middle-grade books

Legit Kidlit - highlighting kid lit creators

For Writers

7 Tips for Creating Awesome Characters

How to Write an Unforgettable Ending

Plot Your Novel in Three Simple Steps

Making Story Structure Your Own


  1. That hilariously scary illustration of the cat on the cover brought a huge smile to my face.😁

  2. Those 7 tips for creating awesome characters are great. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is a new author for me. Thank you for the chance to win a copy--mysteries are my favorite genre.

  4. I hadn't heard of the Ballpark Mysteries, but I like the A to Z Mysteries, so I'm interested in sampling this!

  5. Looks like a fun book my grandson might like. Gonna check them out.

  6. I'll have to check out the Ballpark Mysteries series to see if they will interest the readers at my school. I know they'll like the graphic novel!


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