The Weekly 411 (5/17/24)


© R.S. Hirsch

May 17, 2024 vol. 20

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 R.S. Hirsch.

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the middle grade novel, Sing it Like Celia, by Mónica Mancillas (Penguin Workshop 2024), out now. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

art by Mirelle Ortega; design by Mary Claire Cruz


About the Book: Twelve-year-old Salva Sanchez has always been a lifelong fan of Celia Cruz, also known as “the queen of salsa.” Her love of Celia stems from her mother, who leaves Salva without explanation one awful day. Now Salva is stuck with her investigative journalist father in a trailer park. In the middle of nowhere.


As Salva acclimates to her new environment and desperately tries to figure out why her mother left, she befriends a posse of campground kids who have started a band. When the kids discover that Salva has an amazing singing voice, they convince her to join their group. Soon, Salva learns how to find her voice and herself with the help of her newfound friends, her dad, and the one and only Celia Cruz.


About then Author: Mónica Mancillas is a musician and educator who authors picture books and Middle Grade fiction and non-fiction. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. Her books include Mariana and Her Familia (Balzer + Bray), The Worry Balloon (Roaring Brook Press, July 11, 2023), How to Speak in Spanglish (Penguin Workshop, August 22, 2023), Sing it Like Celia (Penguin Workshop, 2024), and Leyendas/Legends (Chronicle, 2025).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Picture Book Giveaway

We are excited to host a giveaway of the picture book, My Name is as Long as a River, by Suma Subramaniam, illustrated by Tara Anand (Penguin Workshop), out on May 28. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!



About the Book: In this sweeping picture book, an Indian girl discovers the power of her name as she travels along the river she was named after.


What’s so special about your name?


Kaveri Thanjavur Jayalakshmi Ganesan doesn’t think there is anything special about her very long name—in fact, she would prefer to be called “Kav.” But Paati reminds Kaveri that her name was inspired by her family’s heritage, where she was born, and the powerful river they journey across for the Pushkaram Festival. Along the way, Kaveri’s eyes and heart are opened to the beauty and magic her name holds.

About the Author: Suma Subramaniam is the author of Namaste Is a GreetingShe Sang for IndiaThe Runaway DosaA Bindi Can Be..., the V. Malar series, and other books for children and young adults. She has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Suma lives in Seattle with her family and a dog who watches baking shows. Learn more at

About the Illustrator: Tara Anand is an illustrator and visual artist from Bombay, India, based in New York City. She graduated from School of Visual Arts in 2022 and has since worked on editorial and children’s book projects. She works primarily in gouache and loves to read in her spare time. Learn more at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sept. 12-15, 2024 Better Books Marin (details to come shortly) The Better Books Workshop, limited to fewer than 28 seasoned writers, is designed to provide deep immersion in craft. The schedule includes faculty master class sessions, group discussions, and a 30-40 minute faculty-led critique of 25 pages. We are also excited to offer two scholarships for diverse voices. (Menlo Park, CA) 

Feb. 21-23, 2025 Big Sur Workshop with Andrea Brown Literary Agency Long recognized as one of the top agencies for children’s book writers and illustrators, Andrea Brown Literary Agency (ABLA) brings top tier professionals together with both beginner and seasoned writers. This popular workshop fills quickly. Two industry professionals will mentor you in very small group sessions where one-on-one feedback is provided. Writers will get the chance to mingle and discuss their works with editors, agents, and published authors throughout the all-inclusive weekend. (Big Sur, California)


  1. Lovely books with rich details.

  2. I'm excited to read both of these books.

  3. Love, love, love these new additions!

  4. My Name is as Long as a River sounds like a truly beautiful and relevant story that I would love to share in my classroom.


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