2023 Newbery and Coretta Scott King Award Winner. After an entire young life of enslavement, twelve-year-old Homer escapes Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, leaving his beloved mother behind. Deep in the recesses of the swamp, the two find a secret community called Freewater. In this new, free society made up of escaped slaves and some born-free children, Homer cautiously embraces a set of spirited friends. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he hatches a plan to return to Southerland Plantation, overcome his own cautious nature, and free his mother from enslavement.