The Weekly 411 (8/11/23)


© Berrie Torgan-Randall

August 11, 2023 vol. 32

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 Berrie Torgan-Randall.

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are excited to host a giveaway of the middle grade novel, Barely Floating by Lilliam Rivera (Kokila Books), out on August 29. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book: Natalia De La Cruz Rivera y Santiago, also known as Nat, was swimming neighborhood kids out of their money at the local Inglewood pool when her life changed. The LA Mermaids performed, emerging out of the water with matching sequined swimsuits, and it was then that synchronized swimming stole her heart.

The problem? Her activist mom and professor dad think it's a sport with too much emphasis on looks--on being thin and white. Nat grew up the youngest in a house full of boys, so she knows how to fight for what she wants, often using her anger to fuel her. People often underestimate her swimming skills when they see her stomach rolls, but she knows better than to worry about what people think. Still, she feels more like a submarine than a mermaid, but she wonders if she might be both. Barely Floating explores what it means to sparkle in your skin, build community with those who lift you up, and keep floating when waters get rough.


About the Author: Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Dealing in DreamsThe Education of Margot Sanchez, the middle-grade novel Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit, and the forthcoming Never Look Back by Bloomsbury. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Elle, to name a few.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, How to Hatch a Reader, by Kari Ann Gonzalez, illustrated by Rachel Suzanne (Gnome Road Publishing), coming out on August 15. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book: If you want to teach your chickens to read, find a cozy place to rest their chicken cheeks, then help them peck the right story. Readers don’t hatch overnight, but with your help, words will begin flying off the pages! As long as there are no foxes around…With warm colors, adorable characters, humor, and hints of forthcoming mischief, How to Hatch a Reader is the perfect addition to any home, library, or classroom, helping kids build confidence in their own skills while encouraging a love for books and reading with others.

About the Author: Kari Ann Gonzalez is a writer of children’s fiction and informational fiction with a heaping helping of humor and STEAM concepts. When she is not regaling her family with tall tales or creating colorful characters for her stories, you will find her reading voraciously. One cat, three fish, and six chickens are kind enough to share their home with Kari and her family in California. How to Hatch a Reader is Kari's debut picture book, but more exciting news will be shared soon. To learn more about Kari, visit her website at:


About the Illustrator: Rachel Suzanne graduated from Birmingham City University, England with First class honours in Illustration. She enjoys creating work through crossing digital art with traditional medium, especially experimental mark making. When she’s not drawing, she’s likely to be in a theatre. Learn more about Rachel by visiting her website at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Contests & Awards

Aug 1-31 Rate Your Story Contest

  • What: submit a PB manuscript or MG/YA novel excerpt
  • Awards: win opportunities for mentorship/critiques/consultation with Lynne Marie, agent-intern & author, books, and other critiques


  1. Looks great!

  2. I look forward to reading HOW TO CATCH A READER by Kari Gonzalez

    Suzy Leopold

  3. So excited to read How to Hatch a Reader! Congrats!!

  4. Love the title of this new book! Can’t wait to read it!

  5. How to Hatch a Reader sounds so Fun! Can’t wait to read it! Congrats, Kari!

  6. Beautiful banner! Congrats to Kari on her book. Sounds delightful.

  7. It doesn't look like the Rafflecopter for How to Hatch a Reader is working. There's just a line there that says "a rafflecopter giveaway" and nothing else. Maybe it's my browser?

  8. Thank you for featuring excellent books as always.

  9. This looks adorable and clever! Congratulations!

  10. "How to Catch a Reader" is such a creative title. I'm looking forward to this book.


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