Deeper Reading Within the Text and Alongside Other Texts

The protagonist in this story speaks from a first person perspective.  We see the world of the story unfold through her eyes.

Fictionalized autobiography or semi-autobiographical fiction.

Deeper Reading Within the Text and Against Texts

The Ugly Vegetables. Text and illustrations copyright © 1999 by Grace Lin. Used with permission by Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.


The mother serves as teacher and gardener as she shares information about the plants being grown.  The child is also a helper, sharing responsibility for the planting of this garden.

The child asks questions about why there’s a difference in how they are planting.  The mother responds positively to the child’s inquiries.  The child has agency; she consistently raises questions about the cultural differences she notices.  While the mother addresses the other adults by their first names, the daughter addresses them with the title of Mr. or Mrs., which reflects the culture's expectations for how the child should address adults.

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