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The Weight of Water
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The Weight of Water
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A poetic, gifty offering that combines first love, friendship, and persistent courage in this lyrical immigration story told in verse.Carrying just a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with...
A poetic, gifty offering that combines first love, friendship, and persistent courage in this lyrical immigration story told in verse.Carrying just a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with...
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Description-

  • A poetic, gifty offering that combines first love, friendship, and persistent courage in this lyrical immigration story told in verse.
    Carrying just a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother are immigrating to England from Poland. Kasienka isn't the happiest girl in the world. At home, her mother is suffering from a broken heart as she searches for Kasienka's father. And at school, Kasienka is having trouble being the new girl and making friends. The only time she feels comforted is when she's swimming at the pool. But she can't quite shake the feeling that she's sinking. Until a new boy swims into her life, and she learns that there might be more than one way to stay afloat.
    The Weight of Water is a coming-of-age story that deftly handles issues of immigration, alienation, and first love. Moving and poetically rendered, this novel-in-verse is the story of a young girl whose determination to find out who she is prevails.

About the Author-

  • Sarah Crossan has lived in Dublin, London and New York, and now lives in Hertfordshire. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University. Since completing a masters in creative writing, she has been working to promote creative writing in schools.The Weight of Water and Apple and Rain were both shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. In 2016, Sarah won the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as the YA Book Prize, the CBI Book of the Year award and the CLiPPA Poetry Award for her novel, One.
    http://www.sarahcrossan.com/
    @SarahCrossan

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 10, 2013
    Written in verse, in the voice of a Polish girl forced to move to England with her mother, this is a wrenching but hopeful story of displacement, loneliness, and survival. In their one-room rental, Kasienka, nearly 13, watches helplessly as her mother unravels, determined to track down the husband who abandoned them. Her school life is also bleak: she’s initially placed with younger students
    because of her poor English, teachers are patronizing, her classmates shun her, and the one girl who befriends her suddenly turns on her. Kasienka’s observations are insightful and hard-hitting (“I am not an English girl in Gdansk./ I’m a Pole in Coventry./ And that is not the same thing./ At all”), and her resilience prevents her from being a victim. She finds solace in swimming (“Water is another world:/
    A land with its own language./ Which I speak fluently”), in the friendship of a neighbor from Kenya, and in her first love. Crossan’s (Breathe) verse packs a punch as she examines the power that difference—but also determination—can wield. Ages 10–14. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    June 1, 2013
    In this taut portrayal of the immigrant experience, 12-year-old Kasienka moves with Mama from Gdansk, Poland, to Coventry, England, to find Tata, her father. The adjustment is difficult. At school, Kasienka is ostracized. At home, she questions why they are searching for a man who ran from them. When Kasienka complains, Mama questions her love. Kasienka feels powerful only when she swims at the pool--something Tata taught her to do. That is also where William, a schoolmate, first notices her. Narrating in image-rich free verse that packs an emotional punch, Kasienka describes what life is like for a new arrival while also exploring universal themes of abandonment, loyalty, bullying and first love. Concise lines and brief poems--two to three pages at most--mirror her tentative steps in an alien world, offering snapshots of her experiences and thoughts. Her story is broken into three parts, emphasizing the stages Kasienka goes through, with the last providing "starting blocks," as it were. Sweetheart William encourages her to swim; through swimming, Kasienka reconnects with her father; she and Mama make peace; and the school bully is rendered powerless in the face of Kasienka's hard-won happiness. It is fitting that some of the last poems are entitled "Metamorphosis" and "Forgiveness." The Epilogue, "Butterfly," offers good advice for living: "[P]ull, / Push, / Recover." Memorable. (Verse fiction. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2013

    Gr 6-9-Kasienka and her mother have left their home in Poland to find the father and husband who left them a few years before. They arrive in the UK with some meager possessions and only a vague notion of where to find a man who may not wish to be found. Kasienka feels "all wrong," a feeling that only gets worse when she finds herself in the crosshairs of one of her school's alpha girls. On top of the bullying, she must travel door to door each night acting as her mother's voice in a demeaning search for her father. Kasienka tells her tale through graceful, effortless verse that succinctly captures the immigrant experience in a way that anyone who has ever felt left out could easily embrace. This is a sweet, well-paced tale not without a silver lining; Kasienka finds happiness and the stirrings of first love in an unexpected place-the swimming pool. Those who have wished for an older version of Carolyn Marsden's The Gold-Threaded Dress (Candlewick, 2002) or Eleanor Estes's The Hundred Dresses (Harcourt, 1944) need look no further. The Weight of Water will more than fill the hole.-Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Cathy Cassidy, author of Gingersnaps Poignant, powerful, just perfect.
  • The Bookbag (UK review) This is an amazing and poignant book, that is so beautifully written that I didn't even realise I had finished it until I had turned the last page.
  • Book a Poet (UK review) It's a refreshing read, something new and interesting, whether you're a fan of fiction or poetry you'll enjoy it. Totally brilliant and we can't recommend it enough.
  • Ink Pellet (UK review) Sarah Crossan's debut piece is a brilliant, realistic, heart-breaking but ultimately life-affirming tale.

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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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