Author: Sarah Crossan | Website
Release Date: July 13th, 2013|
Genre: Poetry, Realism, Contemporary, Bully| Pages: 240
My husband surprised me with a new Nook for our anniversary last week and the first thing I did was download this novel from NetGalley! I stumbled upon this story a few weeks ago when I was perusing the books because I loved the cover, and I knew right away it was a story I was going to connect with. It’s a MG novel written in verse, and you are going to love it!
I was provided out a copy of this book from Bloomsbury vis Netgalley. I was not compensated in any way for my review (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.
Kasienka is a lonely girl. When her father left, her mother sort of left her too. That is until her mother packs a single suitcase and takes the two of them to England. As a young Polish immigrant, Kasienka still feels lonely in her new school, especially since she’s placed in the wrong grade because she’s different.
But when she meets someone special at the pool, she learns that despite all the wrong things happening in her life, there might be reasons to stay afloat.
5 Reasons Why This Book is Marvelous!
- I’m going to tell you right off the bat–skipping all praise and recommendations–and just say read this book. Read this book, you have too, then read this book out loud to young readers. Then have them read it out loud. The Weight of Water is a verse novel, a story told in poetry, and one of my favorite forms of storytelling. I think that poetry is so raw and emotional that when it lends form to a novel, it helps the reader understand the character on so many other levels. I could say this book is marvelous simply because it is told in a moving and beautiful way–but the verse form is only the beginning of this wonderful story.
- Kasienka is a awe inspiring character. The synopsis of the story lets readers know that she has moved to place that isn’t home, with a mother who has a breaking heart. From those clues alone we can deduce all sorts of things–but the truth of the story is far more than I imagined. I feel this is a story you must read to understand, so I will not give any spoilers. I will only say that Kasienka pours out her heart to readers, and as we move from poem to poem-chapter to chapter-we begin to immerse ourselves in the world of this little girl, feeling every bit of emotion she is struggling with. Hurting with her, laughing with her, crying with her, rejoicing with her. Crossan has written a realistically, beautiful character than I think many readers, especially young girls, will relate too.
- I do, however, have to give Crossan props for tackling a tough topic in her story. Though it isn’t the main plot line, Kasienka, who is an immigrant and therefore different than those around her, struggles with being different and is even bullied to some degree. I cannot read enough stories about bullying because it is so apparent in the middle grades. It makes my teacher-librarian heart so happy when authors are brave and write about children who struggle in some hard-topic kind of way. Young readers desperately need books like The Weight of Water so they can connect with kids like themselves and understand they are not alone.
- Poems are often shorter in length which means they have to tell a deep story in as few words as possible. In a world where we can over share, and write for paragraphs about our lives, I feel as if I connected with Kasienka in a way I haven’t been able to connect with characters before. Because this story is in verse form, I read it in one sitting. One evening I sat down, opened up the story, and kept turning the pages because I just could not bear to leave Kasienka. This novel is breathtaking, and moving, and it’s a coming of age story that I never would have picked up on my own. Honestly, it was the cover and verse form that got me. I had no idea how attached I would be come to this little girl, how much my heart would hurt for her, how much I would cheer her on. It’s a story that ultimately left me hurting when I closed the last page simply because I wanted more.
- In all of its marvelous-ness, The Weight of Water is a truly poignant, coming-of-age tale. I could go on and on about the characters, and the setting, and the overall storyline, but really–I just want to say read this story. It’s a novel that needs to be in the hands of young readers if not to only teach them courage and perseverance, but to teach them how to embrace their differences and use their strengths to stay afloat in a world where everything seems to be underwater.
Book Talk: Have you heard of The Weight of Water yet? How do you feel about verse form novels?