At the Office of Archives and History, we aim to preserve and promote North Carolina history. What better way than to start with young children and their parents? To achieve that aim, Archives and History has launched a series of books designed to introduce young readers to our past.

The Life and Times of Thomas Wolfe

Jennifer Prince, author

In his short life of 38 years, the Asheville native took the literary world by storm. His Look Homeward, Angel remains a favorite of readers three generations later. A genius, a giant figuratively and literally, the mountain writer angered many in Asheville with his depictions. But, late in life, he did go home again, sitting with his mother on the steps of the boarding house and renewing old acquaintances. We hope that this book will introduce Wolfe to new readers, young and old.   
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We Who Believe in Freedom: The Life and Times of Ella Baker

Lea E. Williams, author

This short biography of Ella Baker, the civil rights leader, is intended for middle school and high school readers.

Ella Baker, who grew up in Littleton, North Carolina, is best remembered for the role she played in facilitating in April 1960 the organizational meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Shaw University, her alma mater. 
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My N.C. from A to Z

Michelle Lanier, author 
Dare Coulter, illustrator

Children will love learning their very first ideas about North Carolina in My N.C. from A to Z. 

This colorful, sturdy board book celebrates pride of place, creates connections to North Carolina's rich African American heritage, and teaches children about human equality and social justice. A perfect first baby or toddler book!

Awards & Distinctions: 2020 Notable Government Document (State and Local Selection). Government Documents Round Table, American Library Association and Library of Congress, Center for the Book, 2020.
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Anne Marshall Runyon, author and illustrator

Longneedle tells the life story of a longleaf pine in the longleaf pine savannas of the North Carolina Outer Coastal Plain. 

The fire-dependent tree persists through three hundred years of North Carolina history from 1696 to 1996 when Hurricane Fran brings its tale to an end. But her descendants live on! Longneedle is a story of survival and celebration as it explains the connections between spaces in a unique and beautiful southeastern American forest. 

Awards & Distinctions:

2021 Riverby Award, John Burroughs Association

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Bountiful Red Acres: Two Farms, Two Families, and a Year on the Land

Eileen Heyes, author 
Dare Coulter, illustrator

Young readers can get a taste of farm life in the North Carolina Piedmont through Bountiful Red Acres. The story chronicles a year in the lives of two neighboring families —one Black and one White —moving from season to season through the year 1900. Despite the racial inequalities built into American life by both law and custom, the Sawyers and Hauser families share an abiding friendship as they rear children, tend crops, and build community. 

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Save Our Sand Dunes

Hannah Bunn West with Ann-Cabell Baum, authors

Larry McCarter and Anne Marshall Runyon, illustrators


Did you know that in the 1970s, the sand dune known as Jockey's Ridge was almost leveled and developed for residential housing? One day, Ann-Cabell, Inglis, and Gibbs Baum saw bulldozers where they often played at Jockey’s Ridge and ran home to tell their mom, Carolista. With her children’s urging, Carolista mobilized the community and relentlessly lobbied local and state leaders to save the dunes. In 1975, Jockey’s Ridge was designated as a North Carolina State Park. Learn more about collective environmental activism and its effects in Save Our Sand Dunes.

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