The Weekly 411 (5/3/24)

© Santhya Shenbagam 

 May 3, 2024 vol 18

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 Santhya Shenbagam.

Illustrator Spotlight & Giveaway

We are pleased to feature illustrator Deana Sobel Lederman and her website banner design and new book, Morgan (TBR Books) out now. Enter to win a copy in the Rafflecopter below!

© Deana Sobel Lederman

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the middle grade book, Lion of the Sky, by Ritu Hemnani (HarperCollins/ Balzer+Bray) coming out on May 7. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

design by Tara Anand

About the Book: An evocative historical novel in verse about a boy and his family who are forced to flee their home and become refugees after the British Partition of India. Perfect for fans of Other Words for Home. Twelve-year-old Raj is happiest flying kites with his best friend, Iqbal. As their kites soar, Raj feels free, like his beloved India soon will be, and he can’t wait to celebrate their independence. But when a British lawyer draws a line across a map, splitting India in two, Raj is thrust into a fractured world. With Partition declared, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim families are torn apart—and Raj’s Hindu and Iqbal’s Muslim families are among them. Forced to flee and become refugees, Raj’s family is left to start over in a new country. After suffering devastating losses, Raj must summon the courage to survive the brutal upheaval of both his country and his heart. Inspired by the author’s true family history, Lion of the Sky is a deeply moving coming-of-age tale about identity, belonging, and the power of hope.


About the Author: Ritu Hemnani is an author, journalist, motivational speaker, and educator, who hopes for every child to see themselves in the pages of a book. Ritu is ethnically Indian, a British national, and calls Hong Kong her home, where she lives with her husband and three children. Ritu’s debut middle-grade novel in verse, LION OF THE SKY will be published by HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray in 2024. Ritu shares the seeds of her writing journey in her 2019 TEDx Talk, An Inheritance Worth Sharing. You can find Ritu on her website:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, Tala Learns to Siva, by Kealani Netani, illustrated by Dung Ho (Scholastic) out May 7. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below.

About the Book: A lovingly empowering story about finding courage and strength in your family, history, and community through a traditional and cherished Samoan dance, taualuga. Tala wishes that she could dance the traditional Samoan dance, the taualuga, just like her Aunty Sina. But Tala's legs are too bouncy, her arms are too stiff, and she doesn't have Aunty's 'glow' when she dances. When Tala prepares to perform at her Grandma's birthday, she freezes on the stage. Will she find the strength and inspiration to help her dance?


About the Author: Kealani Netane is a Native Hawaiian-Samoan picture book writer living just outside of Honolulu on Oahu in Hawai'i. Kealani is an educator for Pacific Islanders and has over 20 years of experience as a Polynesian dancer herself. On top of being a mom, Kealani runs the bookstagram, Little Pasifika Readers, where she highlights #ownvoices Pasifika children's books and other API and diverse and inclusive books. Find her at @littlepasifikareaders and at @ke_a_la_ni on Twitter.


About the Illustrator: Dung (pronounced Dzung) Ho is a New York Times bestselling illustrator based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her work focuses on children's books. She also loves to draw interesting characters with unique personalities. In her free time, she likes to cook and watch movies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For Writers

List of Character Reactions

5 Easy Tips to Strengthen Your Scenes

How to Write Interesting Happy Scenes? 6 Tips

Conferences, Workshops & Retreats

Your Work Deserves It: Conferences to Consider

Contests and Awards

  • What: apply for a $3000 grant for a summer internship in children's or adult publishing
  • Who: writers who identify as having come from a diverse background according to the WNDB guidelines

Marketing & Building a Platform

Should Writers Use a Newsletter?

Submissions: Agents & Editors

May 14, 4:30 p.m. CST (replay available) Workshop with Charlesbridge Senior Editor Karen Boss, hosted by Author Rosie J. Pova:  Submission & Acquisition & Bookmaking: Demystifying Publishing Processes (Plus, Exclusive Direct Submission Opportunity!)


Hear about how processes work in a small, independent publishing house (which isn’t too different from how it works everywhere!).

  •  How does an editor manage reading her submission pile, and how does she decide which projects to champion?
  • What has to happen between an editor and her publisher and/or acquisitions board before an offer can be made to an author?
  • We’ll also look at how terms negotiations and contracting works, and even some about what to expect during the editor/author relationship.

 After the workshop, registrants will get the opportunity to submit a picture book manuscript directly to Karen for consideration. 


Inspirational Things

Communities: The Backbone of Your Healthy Writing Journey


We run Kidlit411 and its associated groups and newsletter on a shoestring, but even shoestrings cost money. If you've benefitted from our content, please consider donating a small amount to our work. Thank you!


  1. I love reading NIV and can't wait to read Lion of the Sky. Other Words for Home is one of my favorites.

  2. Books look great!

  3. These books look wonderful, and I love the covers of each of them. Thank you for the chance to win.

  4. I think the giveaway link for Tala Learns to Siva is missing. Would love to be able to enter, it looks awesome!

  5. Lovely books. Impressive artwork.

  6. The books look wonderful!

  7. Great books and wonderful links. Thanks!

  8. Wow! Congratulations to all! :)

  9. I am the anonymous from computer has signed me out. Not sure if this will work. (insert eye roll) CONGRATULATIONS to all! What a great group of books!


Post a Comment