“Free is bad,” thinks the young narrator of Andrea Wang’s picture book Watercress (2021). “Free is hand-me-down clothes and roadside trash-heap furniture and now, dinner from a ditch.”
Dinner is the titular watercress her family picked fresh from the side of an Ohio road, which at first the narrator finds embarrassing and so refuses to eat it until she learns more about her family’s history.
Watercress received critical acclaim, earning the Caldecott Medal, the Asian / Pacific American Librarians Association Award for Literature, and a Newbery Honor.
If you enjoyed Watercress, we suggest these Ohio side trips: