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The Weight of Water [Paperback]

Sarah Crossan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 3.60  
Hardcover 6.02  
Paperback 5.24  
Audio Download, Unabridged 4.45

Book Description

3 Jan 2013

Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother's heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat.

The Weight of Water is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140883023X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408830239
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Crossan is Irish. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University and worked to promote creative writing in schools before leaving teaching to write full time.

She completed her Masters in creative writing at the University of Warwick. In 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.

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)

Book Description

First love, friendship and quiet courage combine in this spare and beautiful story that will leave you sad, happy and wanting more from this fantastic new voice in children's fiction

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Weight of Water 8 Jan 2012
This is the first book I've read which is written entirely in verse. I thought at first that I was going to find that difficult because I imagined it would feel disjointed to read but in actuality the verse flowed beautifully, the story unfolded smoothly and each separate verse was interconnected to the next so in some ways it was just like reading normal prose but with even more lyrical prowess.

The story is about a young girl called Kasienka who comes to England with her mother, to seek her father who left and abandoned them. Her mother is desperate to find them and believes they can do so by trawling the streets with a map and knocking on people's doors - just one of the many touching and heartbreaking moments in the book. Kasienka is bullied at school by another girl called Clair for being too white, having too short hair, having the wrong bag but essentially for being different. She eventually finds peace with a new friend and a boy called William who she meets at her local swimming pool.

Swimming is Kasienka's solace and it's when she's in the water that she feels sleek and self-assured and she can momentarily forget the many troubles which weigh heavy on her young shoulders. I loved the way in which her character develops throughout the book and although she has many issues to face she does so with her head held high.

The book is about immigration and alienation and trying to fit in with people who judge you on appearance without getting to know the real you and the person inside.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant favourite! 12 Jan 2012
The Weight of Water is Sarah Crossan's debut novel and it was definitely a story that didn't disappoint! In this story, Crossan tells the story of a Polish girl, Kasienka, her mother (Ola/Mama) and their move to England in order to search for Tata, her father. This book deals with so many issues, including poverty, racism, immigration, family, growing-up and school life. It is a coming of age book and the title of it is quite apt - the reference to water is an interesting one - it's a good comparison to Kasienka's ever changing life and also reflects the fact that she 'finds herself' through swimming for her school.

Despite her sometimes quite fragile persona, Kasienka has an extremely strong voice from the very first verse. This story is written completely in verse, as a series of connected poems, and this method proves to be extremely effective. Every word seems important and well thought out, the language is simple yet descriptive. There were a few Polish words used at the beginning which I was unsure of, but they felt natural, it was easy to guess what they meant and it added a real sense of authenticity to Kasienka's voice. I managed to connect with her from the very beginning. She is very open and vulnerable but also has a strong personality and doesn't give up easily.

Our protagonist feels a lot of uncertainty, not only at her age (as she is only 12 years old) but also at her environment. There is a big contrast in cultures and it is interesting to see how Kasienka adjusts to some English customs and attitudes. Her family is also quite poor, which also causes some difficulties for her. Because of her differences, it is difficult for her to find friends in England, especially when others are being directly hostile towards her.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Weight of Water 13 Jan 2012
By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Kasienka and her mother arrive in England with little more than a bag of clothes and a plan to track down the father that abandoned them both. Forced into a new school with unfamiliar customs and a language that she doesn't fully understand it isn't easy for Kasienka to make friends. Suffering from bullying at school, living in a dismal flat and forced to walk the streets in search of her father all add up to a pretty miserable life for her. But can she find a place where she belongs?

I have to admit that I've not read many verse novels, in fact this is only the second one I've ever picked up as I've always been a bit wary of them in the past. In spite of that I found myself really enjoying Kasienka's story and I'm definitely thinking I should look into reading more of this kind of story. It isn't difficult to feel for Kasienka, she goes through so many hardships and my heart broke for her. I've never been an immigrant or struggled to go to a school where everyone speaks a different language to the one I was born speaking but I did suffer with bullying so could relate to what she suffered at the hands of school bully Clair.

The hardest thing to watch was the way her mother struggled to cope with the disappearance of her father though. Her mother has to work long hours just to afford a horrible bedsit and enough food for them to survive but then she spends all her spare time walking the streets knocking on doors showing her father's picture. It was heartbreaking to picture Kasienka trailing around after her mother when she should have been playing with friends like any normal 12-year-old girl.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Weight of Water - Truly wonderful piece of work
My wife is Polish. Her first job in Secondary School was teaching 7 Polish kids basic English. She cried within 45 seconds of me passing her the piece. Read more
Published 12 days ago by david wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Different...
I read 'Breathe' and 'Resist' by Crossan and absolutely loved them so when I heard she had written something else I wanted to read it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barmy_Bex
4.0 out of 5 stars awesome book
I'm not really a big reader but when I brought this book I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend if you want a good story to buy this book
Published 3 months ago by alan kingston
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
this book was a good read. it may have not been the best book I have read but it's very interesting. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Isabella
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
I enjoyed this book, but found that it took me a while to adjust to Crossan's style of writing. I had issues with how it didn't really flow for me and sometimes found it an awkward... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Emily
5.0 out of 5 stars 12yo daughter loved this
Took a chance based on other reviews, happy to report my 12 year old read this in a couple of days, said it was really good, easy to read, and she enjoyed the way it was written. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Somesy
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Perfection. A lesson in how to write. I loved it and so will you. Nice one, Sarah Crossan. Be proud.
Published 6 months ago by Suzi Wilde
2.0 out of 5 stars Urm idk
Didn't really understand it tbh
Bad ending
Written really weirdly
Not much of an actual story
Nah wasn't good sorry
Published 6 months ago by Harriet
5.0 out of 5 stars The weight of water
I loved this book so much!! A brilliant tale of romance,struggle,joy and sadness. Kasianka is Polish ,she and her mother move to England in search of Kasianka's father.
Published 6 months ago by Emma Andrews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Weight of Water
I have really enjoyed this book, although a quick and easy read, its packed with detail,thoughts, feelings etc. Read more
Published 6 months ago by me my i
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