New and Upcoming Children’s Books from North Carolina Authors

Wastage. ice. Flood. Three climate disasters. Four kids fighting for their lives. Akira is riding her horse in the California woods when a wildfire sparks—and she grows scarily fast. How can she make it to safety when there are flames everywhere? Owen and his best friend, George, are used to seeing polar bears on the snowy Canadian tundra. But when one bear gets way too close for comfort, do the boys have any chance of surviving? Natalie hunkers down at home as a massive hurricane barrels toward Miami. When the floodwaters crash into her house, Natalie is dragged out into the storm—with nowhere to hide. Akira, Owen, George, and Natalie are all swept up in the devastating effects of climate change. They are also connected in ways that will shock them—and could alter their destinations forever.

With her thirteenth birthday just around the corner, Giada Bellantuono has to make a big decision: Will she join the family business and become a healer or follow her dreams? But even though she knows her calling is to heal vulnerable animals, using her powers to treat magical creatures is decidedly not allowed. When a group of witches kidnaps her beloved older brother, Rocco, and her parents are away, Giada is the only person left who can rescue him. Swept into the magical underground city of Malafi, Giada will need the help of her new companions to save her brother–or risk losing him forever.

Charlotte Kraus would follow Angelika Haas anywhere. Which is how she finds herself in an underground club one Friday night the summer before World War II, dancing to contraband American jazz and swing music, suddenly feeling that anything might be possible. Unable to resist the allure of sharing this secret with Geli, Charlie returns to the club again and again, despite the dangers of breaking the Nazi Party’s rules. Soon, terrified by the tightening vise of Hitler’s power, Charlie and the other Swingjugend are drawn to larger and larger acts of rebellion. But the war will test how much they are willing to risk—and to lose.

Bear is back and this time his home, “The We Tree,” is full of holiday cheer… for everyone but Bear. With guests like four flocking birds, three French squirrels, two spruced-up cats, and a partridge in the We Tree, will Bear finally find the holiday spirit? With full-color illustrations on every page, this humorous story is perfect for kids just beginning to read on their own. The early vocabulary and amusing illustrations make reading easy and fun! Exciting, easy-to-read books are the stepping stone a young reader needs to bridge the gap between being a beginner and being fluent.

All Black and Brown kids get The Talk—the talk that could mean the difference between life and death in a racist world. Told in an age-appropriate fashion, with a perfect pause for parents to insert their own discussions with their children to accompany prompting illustrations, The Talk is a gently honest and sensitive starting point for this far-too-necessary conversation, for Black children, Brown children, and for ALL children. Because you can’t make change without knowing what needs changing.

Every holiday, aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and neighbors come over to eat, sing, and celebrate life. But all our main character can think about is the sweet potato pie Granny makes just for her. As tables fill with baked macaroni and cheese, chitlins, and other sides a-steaming, she and Granny move the pie to keep it intact. The task becomes tricker as the room grows with dancing and card games and pie cravings. Just when all seems lost and there’s no more pie, Granny pulls out a sweet surprise. Written to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” Twelve Dinging Doorbells is exuberant. Author Tameka Fryer Brown’s cumulative rhyme is impossible to resist, and the humorous details in Ebony Glenn’s cut-paper collage will welcome readers to this party again and again.

Prepare to open a very special book—a book that you read, but that you don’t keep. That’s right. This book isn’t destined for a pile in your room. It’s not going to gather dust on a bookshelf. This book is for you to read and enjoy, and then to give away. Yes, away, to someone you’ve never spoken to before. So, who are you going to pick? The next person you pass on the street? Someone sitting alone on a bench? A kid at the park? Who knows—maybe you’ll even make a new friend! Here is a one-of-a-kind picture book that brilliantly introduces the act of giving—quite literally—in a concrete way for kids to understand, and reveals how good it feels when you do.

“Time to feed the baby!” yells clock.

Tiny Spoon is ready for the job! But who’s this pointy guy?

“I’m Little Fork. I feed the baby, too!”

wait. What? This isn’t going to get ugly, is it? (Nah!)

Who’s known baby longer? (spoon)

Who’s good at stabbing and poking? (Fork)

Who comes from the best family? (Both families are rather impressive.)

Who does baby like better? (Neither. Turns out Baby likes throwing both utensils across the kitchen, and that’s EXACTLY what baby does.)

Now it’s going to take cooperation—not competition—to make their way back to baby. And when they do get back they’ll still have to feed the baby. Anyone who has ever tried to feed a baby knows it ain’t easy—but does it have to be this hard?

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