The Weekly 411 (12/22/23)


© Roberta Raimondi

Dec. 22, 2023 vol. 51

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 Roberta Raimondi.

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are delighted to host a giveaway of the middle grade book, The Unbeatable Lily Hong, by Diana Ma (Clarion Books), out on Jan. 2, 2024. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

cover art © Rebecca Chan

About the Book: A smart, funny, and heartfelt middle grade novel about Lily Hong’s attempts to save her parents’ Chinese school and the town’s community center using all the resources she has—devoted friends, ingenuity, a passion for filmmaking, mediocre dance moves (at best), and perhaps even her archnemesis.

About the Author: Diana Ma is a Chinese American author who writes young adult and middle grade books that feature Asian American heroes. She was a 2019 We Need Diverse Books mentee with Swati Avasthi and a 2021 Highlights Foundation Muslim Storytellers Fellow. Diana teaches at a community college in Seattle, and her belief that diverse books make a better world is what drives her teaching and writing. More information about Diana can be found at  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, Fire Flight: A Wildfire Escape, by Cedar Pruitt, illustrated by Chiara Fedele (Capstone Editions), out on Jan. 1, 2024. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

About the Book:  Flames consume a forest, and an owl seeks refuge. Helicopter wings chop, and water drops to drench the branches below. Using spare, lyrical language, this debut picture book takes readers inside the journey of a screech owl that fled the flames to ride along with a firefighting helicopter during the 2020 California Creek wildfire. Vivid imagery highlights the fear and danger of the experience--as well as an astonishing moment of connection.


About the Author:  When Cedar isn’t writing, she works as a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) facilitator for universities and Fortune 500 companies. She holds a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University and lives with her family in Massachusetts.

Cedar is passionate about poetry, humor, art, and making new discoveries. As a child, she couldn’t wait to write children’s books, and began writing poems in second grade. Her first job, at 16, was selling children’s books at Once Upon a Time Books and Toys in Rochester, NY, and her spare time was spent at poetry readings.

She advocates for marginalized voices, as well as parks and urban green spaces. Her happiest place is in the woods with her family.


About the Illustrator: Chiara Fedele, the illustrator, live in a little village 50 km far from Milan where she lives with her family and her pets. She attended Art School in Milan and took a degree in Illustration at La Scuola del Fumetto in Milan. She's worked as a freelance illustrator since 2004 for Italian and international publishers. Her illustrations are published in many countries around the world. Awards: Premio Cento 2008 Silver Medal by the Association of Jewish Libraries for the Sydney Taylor Award 2018 3x3 International Illustration award merit 2019 Selected by Society of Illustrator New York exhibition 2021/2023 She is currently represented by illustration Agency ASTOUND.US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Writing Courses

Picture Book Study Hall  Join a month-long online critique group for writers of picture books, which provides manuscript critiques, weekly talks, and daily motivation and accountability under the guidance of Marcie Colleen, a professional, multi-published author.

Submissions: Agents & Editors 

Jan. 6, 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST Basics and Beyond: Writing Picture Books with Agent Heather Cashman All genres can benefit from the insights and the opportunities within this webinar, but this is an essential for picture book writers! Heather is a Literary Agent at Storm Literary Agency and although she is closed to the general public, she will be open to queries from all attendees. She is also offering 20 picture book critiques, so make sure to sign up for one of those spots.

Getting Past Rejection

Social Media

What Happened When I Got Off Social Media

21 Authors to Follow on TikTok for Book Promo Ideas

Marketing & Creating a Platform

How to Market a Book: 6 Steps From a Full-Time Author

Inspirational Things

Gifts for Writers


  1. Both of these books look like great additions to the kidlit community. Congrats to all!

  2. These books look fantastic! Thank you for sharing <3

  3. Both of these will be fun to read and review. Thank you for the chance to win copies.

  4. Both of these books look wonderful!


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