The Weekly 411 (8/25/23)

© Elizabeth Savanella

August 25, 2023 vol. 34

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 Elizabeth Savanella.

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are thrilled to host a giveaway of the middle grade novel, Nothing Else But Miracles, by Kate Albus (Holiday House), out on Sept. 5. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

art by Gilbert Ford


About the Book: When 12-year-old Dory Byrne’s pop left New York City’s Lower East Side to fight Hitler, he promised her and her brothers that they’d be safe. Like he always said, “the neighborhood will give you what you need.” There’s the lady from the bakery, who saves them leftover crullers. The kind landlord who checks in on them. And every Thursday night, the Byrnes enjoy a free bowl of seafood stew at Mr. Caputo’s restaurant. . . which is where Dory learns about the abandoned hand-pulled elevator that is the only way to get to Caputo’s upper floors. 

But when a new landlord threatens their home in the community that’s raised them and kept them safe, the secret elevator—and the abandoned hotel it leads to—provides just the solution they need. Based on a very real place in old New York and steeped in the history of World War II, Nothing Else but Miracles is a warm and inviting story of resilience, the tight-knit community of the Lower East Side, and the miracles that await in unexpected places.

About the Author: Kate Albus writes historical fiction for young readers. Her first novel, A Place to Hang the Moon (2021, Margaret Ferguson Books at Holiday House), was a New York Public Library Best Book for Kids, A Kids Indie Next List pick, an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner, an ALSC Notable Children's Book, a CCBC Choice, and a JLG Gold Standard Selection. Her second book, Nothing Else But Miracles, is coming Fall 2023, also from Margaret Ferguson at Holiday House. Kate lives with her family in rural Maryland.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Middle Grade Giveaway 2

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the middle grade book, The Curious Vanishing of Beatrice Willoughby, by G.Z. Schmidt (Holiday House), coming out on Sept. 5. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

art © Viola Massarenti


About the Book: One week before All Hallows Eve, in the tiny mountain town of Nevermore, an unexpected party invitation is issued to an eccentric group of townspeople. Among them is an heiress, a spy, and an alchemist. There is also a thief, an impostor, and a hypnotist. Each of them has a story, each one knows a secret. But which of them is responsible for a series of disappearances around town, including the disappearance of Beatrice Willoughby?


About the Author: G. Z. Schmidt is the middle grade author of No Ordinary Thing and The Dreamweavers, which was a New York Public Library Best Book of the Year. She has lived in many places, including Switzerland, whose quiet countryside towns, forests, and mountains provided inspiration for the setting of this story.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • What: apply for a year-long mentorship for a novel manuscript
  • Who: aspiring authors (at least 50% BIPOC mentees will be chosen)
  • When to apply: Oct 31-Nov. 6, 2023
  • What: apply for one of 15 one-year 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: Aug. 15-Sept. 15

  • What: submit a sequence of 3 or 4 images with no text based on a prompt suitable to PB or MG audience
  • Who: SCBWI member
  • Prize: All expenses paid trip to NY SCBWI conference plus work shown in Illustrator Showcase

The Mechanics of Humor: How to Write Funny Children's Books with Confidence and Consistency (Instructor: Justin Colón) Humor is hard. It can feel elusive. Some people are just naturally funny. But did you know that humor is a skill that can be honed? This course will deconstruct humor and how it works and equip you with the knowledge and know how to effectively incorporate humor into your children’s book stories with specific tips, tricks and techniques you can rely on everytime, giving you a foundation to work from so that you can enjoy writing funny stories with confidence and consistency. Four live Zoom lessons in October 2023; sessions will be recorded.

MG Authorcade:16 traditionally published middle grade authors run monthly giveaways of school visits

Spooky Middle Grade: middle grade authors working to prove that spooky stories serve an important role all year round

Las Musas:  a collective of Latinx women and otherwise marginalized people whose gender identity aligns with femininity, writing and/or illustrating in traditional children's literature 


  1. Thank you for sharing these wonderful books 😊 looking forward to reading them. I wasn’t able to sign in but my name is author Nata Cynthia and I entered the giveaway.

  2. I am so excited for both these books. Thank you for a chance.

  3. Both of these are on my wish list and I can't wait to read them.

  4. These both look like great reads for my school's middle grade students!

  5. Both look wonderful!

  6. Wonderful books this week. Thanks for the opportunity.


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