2023 North Carolina Children's Book Award Nominees

The North Carolina Children's Book Award program is a children's choice program designed to introduce children to current children's literature and to instill a love of reading. The award is sponsored by the North Carolina Library Association's Youth Services Section and supported by school and public librarians across the state.

NCCBA website

Updated December 7, 2022
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Amari and the night brothers
Alston, B. B.
New York Times bestseller! Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this exhilarating debut middle grade fantasy, the first in a series filled with #blackgirlmagic. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Percy Jackson series, and Nevermoor. Amari Peters has...
Willodeen
Applegate, Katherine
From #1 New York Times bestseller Katherine Applegate, a singular middle-grade novel about a girl who risks everything to help a handmade creature who comes to life. The earth is old and we are not, and that is all you must remember . . .
I'm trying to love garbage
Barton, Bethany
Children's Choice Award winner Bethany Barton explores the history and future of garbage with tons of humor, fascinating information, and entertaining illustrations. Do you ever wonder where we put all of our garbage, who gets rid of it, or how our planet isn't a big pile of mess...
Rez dogs
Bruchac, Joseph
Renowned author Joseph Bruchac tells a powerful story of a girl who learns more about her Penacook heritage while sheltering in place with her grandparents during the coronavirus pandemic. Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation...
Nigel and the moon
Eady, Antwan
From debut author Antwan Eady and artist Gracey Zhang comes a glowing tale about the young dreaming big. A perfect story to demonstrate how pride in where we come from can bring a shining confidence. When Nigel looks up at the moon, his future is bright. He imagines himself...
A song of frutas
Engle, Margarita
From Pura Belpré Award-winning author Margarita Engle comes a lively, rhythmic picture book about a little girl visiting her grandfather who is a pregonero--a singing street vendor in Cuba--and helping him sell his frutas. When we visit mi abuelo, I help...
It fell from the sky
Fan, Terry
From the creators of the critically acclaimed The Night Gardener and Ocean Meets Sky comes a whimsical and elegantly illustrated picture book about community, art, the importance of giving back--and the wonder that fell from the sky. It fell from the sky on a...
A place at the table
Faruqi, Saadia
A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara's mom. Sixth graders Sara...
Dozens of doughnuts
Finison, Carrie
A generous but increasingly put-upon bear makes batch after batch of doughnuts for her woodland friends without saving any for herself in this delightful debut picture book about counting, sharing, and being a good friend. LouAnn (a bear) is making a doughnut feast in preparation...
How to build an insect
Gibson, Roberta Lynn
See what the buzz is about in this fresh, fun look at insect anatomy. Let's build an insect! In the pages of this book, you'll find a workshop filled with everything you need, including a head, a thorax, an abdomen, and much more. Written by entomologist Roberta Gibson...
Eat your rocks, Croc! : Dr. Glider's advice for troubled animals
Keating, Jess
When animals have problems, they call on Dr. Sugar Glider to help! Help me, Dr. Glider. My stomach is killing me! I eat all the same food as my family, but I'm the only one that feels sick. What's wrong with me? Dr. Sugar Glider travels around the world to help animals...
Unplugged
Korman, Gordon
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unteachables, Gordon Korman, comes a hilarious middle grade novel about a group of kids forced to "unplug" at a wellness camp--where they instead find intrigue, adventure, and a whole lot of chaos. Perfect for fans of Korman's...
Flower talk : how plants use color to communicate
Levine, Sara (Veterinarian)
Pssssst! Did you know plants can talk? It's true! Plants use the colors of their flowers to communicate with animals. But why animals? Because they help plants make seeds by moving pollen from one flower to another. Learn the secrets of flower talk from a narrator with an inside scoop! ...
Mars! : Earthlings welcome
McAnulty, Stacy
From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Stevie Lewis, Mars! Earthlings Welcome is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the red planet--told from the perspective of Mars himself... Meet Mars! The red planet. Planet Marvelous. Favorite sibling of Earth (or so...
The world ends in April
McAnulty, Stacy
Is middle school drama scarier than an asteroid heading for Earth? Find out in this smart and funny novel by the author of The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl. Every day in middle school can feel like the end of the world. Eleanor Dross knows a thing or two...
A wolf called Wander
Parry, Rosanne
A New York Times bestseller! "Don't miss this dazzling tour de force."--Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal winning author of The One and Only Ivan This gripping novel about survival and family is based on the real story of one wolf's incredible journey to find a safe place to...
The box turtle
Roeder, Vanessa
An irresistibly cute story about finding the confidence to be yourself, starring a turtle in search of the perfect shell. Terrance the turtle was born without a shell, so he uses a cardboard box instead. Terrance loves his box. It keeps him dry on soggy days, safe from snooping...
Clean getaway
Stone, Nic
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a timely middle-grade road-trip story through landmarks of the Civil Rights movement and the map they lay for contemporary race relations. How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma: Grab a...
Except Antarctica!
Sturgell, Todd
Turtles are found on every continent EXCEPT Antarctica. But not for long! Follow along as a rogue group of determined animals embark on an adventure (and defy their flustered narrator in the process) in this funny animal picture book for kids! When the narrator explains that turtles are...
Skunk and Badger
Timberlake, Amy
Learn how Skunk and Badger first became roommates before embarking on their latest adventure, Egg Marks the Spot! A Best Book of 2020: People * Kirkus Reviews * Booklist  * School Library...
Katie the catsitter. Volume 1
Venable, Colleen A. F.
NOMINATED FOR MULTIPLE STATE AWARDS! Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! Introducing an irresistible new middle-grade graphic novel series about growing up, friendship, heroes, and cats (lots of cats!)--perfect for fans of Guts, Awkward and Real Friends (not to...
Watercress
Wang, Andrea
Caldecott Medal Winner Newbery Honor Book APALA Award Winner A story about the power of sharing memories-including the painful ones-and the way our heritage stays with and shapes us, even when we don't see it. New England Book Award Winner A...
How to give your cat a bath in five easy steps
Winstanley, Nicola
In this hilarious and clever "how-to," a little girl and a know-it-all narrator are thwarted by a cat who refuses to take a bath. The perfect read-aloud for fans of Snappsy the Alligator and Interrupting Chicken. Step one- fill the bath Step two- put the cat...

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