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The Big Melt

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THE BIG MELT – by Ned Tillman
Coming of Age in a Time of Changing Climates

Sleepy Valley is a town probably similar in many ways to the one where you live. Things are fine on the surface but no one is thinking about the future. Are you ready for what is about to happen to you and to towns all across the country and around the world?

Marley and Brianne, the main characters in our story, were not. Nor were their parents, their neighbors, or anyone in town.  When they woke up on the day after their high school graduation they found their lives turned upside down as a series of climate catastrophes descended on their town. They struggle to find their voices and their purpose for living while attempting to save their family and friends, their town, and civilization as we know it.

The Big Melt engages, informs, and challenges readers of all ages to consider a variety of perspectives on what is rapidly becoming the challenge of the century: Now that our climate is changing, what do we do? This work of contemporary fiction, with a touch of fantasy and hope, will inspire you to care a little more about what might occur in your town in the not-too-distant future.

Book Awards

The Big Melt was a finalist for the following books awards:

One Maryland/One Book                             

The Green Earth Book Award


Video Interview of the Big Melt –

Dragonfly Interview by Mary Woodbury –


Publisher’s Weekly/Booklife Prize Review – “Ned Tillman’s The Big Melt is a fast-paced novel for young readers that advocates taking care of the environment and illustrates the possible negative impacts that might occur if humans should neglect this responsibility. Tillman’s novel is certainly inspiring and unique, melding together a firm call to action for young people to consider the environment and a young protagonist’s decision to protect his town”.

Little Patuxent Review – Ann Bracken contributing editor – “I loved the book for its powerful story, dynamic characters, and cleverly embedded humor. Thank you, Ned, for this inspiring call-to-action.”

Baltimore Sun

Eco-Lit – “While some fiction about global warming is subtle and might not even mention climate change at all, other, like Ned’s, are more advocative. They chronicle events related to climate change and, in the case of The Big Melt, introduce characters who take action. This helps readers who are deeply concerned about problems but might feel powerless. Story characters become friends to us, in a sense. These stories are necessary for our world’s youth today, just as they always have been with other looming issue.”    

User Comments

The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center – Mare Dianora runs a young environmentalists program on the East End of Long Island. You can see more here: Our first book discussion we had together was focused on your book, “The Big Melt“.  The kids really enjoyed it and felt it impacted them directly in our world today. The kids requested you as a guest speaker.

The Howard County Conservancy provides copies of The Big Melt to families that participate in the Wild Walks program.

Teachers across the U.S. have used The Big Melt to supplement their courses on climate change in order to make the topic more real during their coming of age period.

PRAISE FOR THE BIG MELT from students, teachers, and other readers

  • “Yes I love this book sooo much!” I. Zahn.
  • “I couldn’t put the book down because it was so intriguing.  I loved the mixture of the real and the surreal.  Thank you for writing this wonderful book.” J. Kari.
  • Marley’s ‘just like us,’ so readers connect with him.” S. Fuller
  • “Lots of humor made it fun to read. I really enjoyed it.” B. Vanthoff
  • “Vivid details helped me imagine what crazy weather events looked like.” S. Umrani
  • “I liked the plot and ending. I think a book like this can help inspire people.” Kohn
  • “Showing the inner conflicts of the characters allowed me to understand their decisions and gave me a view into their thoughts and feelings.” J. Payne
  • “The entire story really kept me engaged. It was like a mystery.” C. Thomas
  • “I liked that the story had a mix of hope and tragedy blended.” M. Winters
  • “I was inspired by the book. I talked about the book to friends and family.” P. Patel
  • “I found myself thinking about the story for days after reading the book.” J. Duff


Click here to order The Big Melt.


Now Available: The Big Melt

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