Matthews Library Recommends: Gardening Inspiration in Book Form

Spring has officially sprung and the weather is finally starting to reflect that! Celebrate Spring by getting out in your garden. You’ll find tips, tricks, inspiration and more from these great titles available from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library:

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Outdoor Gardening

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Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardening is wonderful because we can do it year-round! Learn more from these titles:

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Adult Fiction

Novels more your thing? We’ve got great fiction that involves gardening:

  • A young widow’s grief is eased as she discovers a love of vegetable gardening in The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman.

  • Science teacher and rose breeder Gal Garner learns lessons in love when she cares for her estranged teenage niece in The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway.

  • Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is the first novel in a series about the Waverly family, who tend their magical garden in Bascom, North Carolina.

  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is an intergenerational family saga that will take you from Australia to England’s Cornish coast.

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For Young Readers

Share the joy of gardening and flowers with your kids with these titles:

Black History Month at the Library

In honor of Black History Month, staff at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library have some suggested reading (and viewing) to help you learn about and explore the people and moments that have shaped our collective past.


Check out The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, an oral history collection highlighting the accomplishments of individual African Americans and African-American-led groups and movements.  It is unique among collections of African American heritage because of its large and varied scope, with interviewees from across the United States, from a variety of fields, and with memories stretching from the 1890s to the present.

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Adult Nonfiction

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Adult Fiction

  • Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, the story of a young slave woman’s bid to escape the Antebellum South, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

  • Jesmyn Ward won the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing, an exploration of history and racism through the lens of a multiracial family in the rural South.

  • Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson, was a 2016 National Book Award finalist; it is a picture of life for a young African American woman growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s.

  • Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers, winner of the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, tells the story of a Cameroonian immigrant’s pursuit of the American dream in Harlem in 2007.

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Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction

  • Jason Reynold’s Long Way Down, longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, takes place during an elevator ride of a 15-year-old boy determined to avenge his brother’s shooting death. 

  • Monster, Walter Dean Myer’s classic, tackles issues of race, class, gender and the judicial system with a 16-year-old black teen on trial for murder.

  • Dreamland Burning, by Jennifer Latham, tells intersecting stories of present-day Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

  • Tony Medina’s I Am Alfonso Jones is a tale of police brutality and Black Lives Matter told in graphic novel format.  

  • Presented in graphic novel format, the March Trilogy is Congressman John Lewis’ narrative of his experiences in the civil rights movement.

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Pre-Teen Fiction and Nonfiction

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Picture Books

In the Resources section of our website you’ll find Books & Authors, where you can browse the complete list of winners of the Coretta Scott King Award, which recognizes African American authors and illustrators who express the African American experience in works for young people.

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Introduce little ones to important figures in African American history with picture books like: