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The Weight of Water Hardcover – Jul 23 2013

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Hardcover, Jul 23 2013
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (July 23 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599909677
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599909677
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
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Product Description


Poignant, powerful, just perfect Cathy Cassidy Succinct, with a gentle lyricism, the poems are telling about immigration, prejudice, self-delusion, families and first love, on the way to a life-changing conclusion Sunday Times - Book of the Week This poetic novel is sheer perfection - for adults as well as for teenagers. Being in Kasienka's head, the reader gains a new understanding of how alienation feels. I loved it Irish Examiner A compellingly beautiful, utterly seductive debut novel ... Do not miss it and press it upon your friends and acquaintances The Scotsman You've entered the young Polish girl's voice with a heartfelt conviction. I felt like I was watching a movie of her life in present time and at the same sharing in what's happening inside her head. What I especially like is that nothing is overstated, but there are so many pregnant issues there - prejudice, migration, language bias - but what's so disarming and charming is the way the girl reveals her inner self with a poetic and resonant simplicity John Agard --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sarah Crossan is the author of the Breathe trilogy. She grew up in England and Ireland, has taught English in the United States, and now lives in London with her family. Visit her online at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A thoughtful free verse novel about finding one's place in the world. Nov. 25 2013
By Heidi Grange - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Kasienka and her mother arrive in England prepared to search for her father who left them behind in Poland. They just received a check from him giving them an idea of where he is living, but Kasienka isn't sure he wants to be found. When she tries to convince her mother of this, her mother ignores her. As the search continues, Kasienka struggles to fit in at her school where she has been placed a year behind where she should be, just because her English isn't good enough. In addition to this, a group of girls starts bullying her for no reason she understands. But slowly Kasienka's confidence in herself grows as she finally makes a friend and pursues her passion for swimming. When a boy shows interest in her, she is excited about getting her first kiss but confused about how it is all supposed to work. Things come to a head however when Kasienka's father is found and it's clear that he wants nothing further to do with her mother.

Strengths: The characters are great including Kasienka, her mother, their neighbor Kanoro, and Will especially shine through. The plot is interesting revolving as it does around a young girl's love of swimming and how it helps her deal with the challenges in her life, including a mother who refuses to listen and accept what those around her tell her. Kasienka's struggles at school are unfortunately all to common, especially for immigrant children. The free verse is beautifully written.

Weaknesses: I'm not sure how many middle grade readers want to read free verse. The format means that a lot of details are left out, but this allows the reader to focus on Kasienka's feelings, which is not entirely a bad thing. I also have issues with 12 and 13-year-old's making out, especially French kissing such as Kasienka and Will engage in. Do we really want to encourage kids this age to engage in that kind of behavior without fully understanding the consequences (which are in no way explored in this book)?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
What a beautiful book June 17 2012
By Ruth Steven - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is utterly lovely. Poignant without being sentimental and incredibly relatable. Easy to read and beautifully written. As a writer I'm jealous, as a reader consider my thought provoked.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Poignant Verses Resonate March 28 2012
By JerryHoboken - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan is an emotional, authentic work aimed at adolescents. Crossan creates a complex protaganist, Kasienka, who narrates entirely in verse. As a 12-year-old Pole dragged to London, she experiences the on-set of physical change while her social structure is in chaos. Crossan steers clear of maudlin emotion and Kasienka emerges as a strong individual with quiet fortitude. There is no pandering to Kasienka nor to the reader. This gives the reader credit to be able capture the essence of a three dimensional character via a crumb trail of evidence, spread through page long poems.
The Weight of our Decisions April 23 2013
By Mer_Can - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The weight of our decisions
I started reading this book while waiting for a doctor's appointment, and as soon as I got home, I finished reading it. This book is aimed at the middle grades (6-9), but high school students could still enjoy it. The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan is a touching story about a Polish girl, Kasienka, and her mother who move from Poland to England to find her father who left them. The story is told through poetry from Kasienka's perspective. You feel for her as she is placed in the wrong grade level because she can't read in English very well. You see her struggle to make friends, adapt to a new culture, deal with bullies and fall in love. While dealing with school and the struggles that come from being a teenager, she has be her mother's interpreter as they go door to door looking for her father who abandoned them. It is nice to see the dynamics of this mother/daughter duo without it becoming cliché or trite. It is very real reactions and interactions between them. You can feel the hurt feelings, the stubbornness, the love and the pride in all of their actions. Throughout the book, Kasienka must deal with the weight of her decisions and of those around her.
A moving story July 12 2013
By Taryn B. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
When I first picked up this book, I didn't realize was a novel in verse. I love novels in verse, so I was even more excited when I found out that this book is written in that format. Crossan told a moving story about an immigrant's experience using simple but powerful language. While this book only took about an hour to read, Kasienka's story will stay with me for much longer. Her voice was strong, and I could really feel her loneliness and alienation as well as her courage and determination.The plot was engaging, and it explored issues with bullying and complicated family relationships. Despite some of the sad subject matter, I finished the book feeling hopeful and inspired.

I know a lot of other readers are hesitant to pick up novels in verse, but don't let the format deter you from picking up this beautifully written book! I can see why this debut novel ended up on the Carnegie Medal shortlist.