Book Review: The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

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Apparently, The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan is being classified as a “middle grade” book. It’s not.

weight of water, theI mean, it is … but that’s not all it is, and if you think you’re too old for middle grade or that MG just isn’t your thing, I beg of you not to dismiss The Weight of Water. Because what it really is, is a beautiful novel-in-verse about finding one’s place in the world, and how you fit together with the other people in your life.

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.

I confess, one of the things I love about verse novels is being able to devour them in an hour or so. But I found with The Weight of Water that I couldn’t quite find it in me to rush through reading so quickly. I lingered over each passage, flipped pages back to reread certain parts, and contemplated specific phrases before moving on.

Crossan’s writing is beautiful and lyrical, but what’s so moving is how she has used verse to tell a compelling and powerful, yet simple story. While not all of us may have moved from one country to another, or faced a broken home, or been bullied, there are elements throughout The Weight of Water that are universal. It’s a book that speaks to something so purely emotional in all of us.

The Weight of Water is in stores July 23rd.


One thought on “Book Review: The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

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  1. The Weight of Water sounds like my kind of book–one that truly speaks to all readers no matter what their ages, which is what the best of MG accomplishes.

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