The Weight of Water

Sarah Crossan. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-59990-967-7
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. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/10/2013
Release date: 07/23/2013
Ebook - 978-1-61963-047-5
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4088-2464-1
Hardcover - 227 pages - 978-1-4088-2300-2
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4088-3023-9
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