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As Simple as It Seems

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,590 Ratings  ·  266 Reviews
Verbena Colter knows she’s bad news.

Trouble from the get-go. How could she not be, with parents like hers? Her mother practically pickled her before she was even born, leaving Verbie to struggle with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. And her father was just plain mean. Verbie wishes she could be somebody, anybody other than who she is. Enter Pooch, a flatlander boy vi
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by HarperCollins (first published June 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,918)
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Katie Fitzgerald
A quiet, reflective story with beautiful descriptions set in Sullivan County, NY. Full review on my blog:
Gianna H5
Nov 04, 2014 Gianna H5 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My independent reading book was "As Simple as it Seems" by Sarah Weeks. "As Simple as it Seems" is a free-willing energetic tale that many others would enjoy reading.Verbie had a mean father and was affected by alcohal birth defects when she was born. All she wanted was to be anybody but her self which she feels she can do when a boy named Pooch comes her way. What started out as a fun game as an effort to make Verbie's life a little more interesting. The she attempts this is different and has a ...more
Milena Hovhannisyan
I chose this book because my friend recommended it to me, she said that it is an amazing book that I would like, so I decided to read it. My first impression on this book was great, from the first chapter the book was really interesting, I was reading it every single day. The plot of this book was about a girl named Verbena that goes through a very hard time in her life. She finds out that she was adopted and that her real mother had left her since the moment she was born, and also that she was ...more
Hailee Gorges
Jan 09, 2013 Hailee Gorges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first impression of this book was that it was great. This book is about a twelve year old girl named Verbena. She loves her life in the beginning of the book but as you read farther her life becomes more difficult. She finds out her best friend doesn’t want her anymore, she also finds out that her parents are not her real parents. Her whole life began to spiral downward until she met a boy named Pooch. He taught her that no matter how hard life gets to never give up on yourself. I recommend t ...more
Mar 25, 2011 Sherry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Verbie learns the truth about her birth parents she becomes afraid that her problems will cause her to lose the only family she has. As she comes to terms with who she is and what it means to be imperfect and yet loved, she befriends Pooch, who has arrived in Clydesdale for the summer along with his mother.

I got a bit of a kick out of Pooch, who reminds of a bit of Truman Capote, or perhaps as Harper Lee described Truman as the character Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird. This was a sweet litt
Dec 30, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed As Simple As It Seems. It was one of those realistic fiction books that had a really good plot that wasn't too out-of-the-ordinary. It was filled with so many good lessons. I also loved how every little extra detail added to the story and occasionally was a big part of the storyline. This book was one that was hard to put down. The characters were so lovable, from Verbena and Pooch all the way down to their loyal dog, Jack. As Simple As It Seems is one beautiful novel that won't ...more
Lauren Bradstreet
Feb 25, 2016 Lauren Bradstreet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Simple as It Seems, By Sarah Weeks was a fascinating book! This book was about an 11 year-old girl named Verbena. Verbena has went through a lot-her best friend left her, and she finds out she is adopted. Her birth mother was an alcoholic who drank a lot during the pregnancy with Verbena, now leaving Verbena with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Verbena went through a rough time when she was trying to figure out who she was, but when a new neighbor moves in everything changes.

I gave this book a 4 star
Feb 19, 2015 Kaitlyns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I think the theme is for this book is to be greatful sometimes and not to be mean to peole just because of what they look like. The setting is at Verbena’s house, the lake, and Pooch’s new house. The main characters are Verbena Colter, Pooch, Verbena’s mother, Verbena’s father, and Pooches mother. In this book Verbena tells the story, Verbena is a 12 year old girl with Fetal alcohol syndrome. Verbena had a best-friend named Annie and they thought putting on make-up and wearing high-heels wa ...more
May 31, 2014 Karah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I read this book after attending an author visit by Sarah Weeks. Weeks writes novels for school aged children, but also writes for kids as young as preschool. Because of her range, and my familiarity with her younger level books, I wanted to read one of her children's novels. This book is about a young girl who recently learns that she was adopted at birth and was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. As she comes to terms with this information, she struggles to navigate the turbulent waters that co ...more
Malerie Ward
Mar 31, 2014 Malerie Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book,I thought would be the worst book I ever read.But I will admit,it is one of my very very favorite books.I would say this book can be read by anyone above the age of 10.I say that because people below ten may not be able to read some of the words.My best friend Seoyeong was not interested because it did not have a whole bunch of pages.For me,there are quite a few but Seoyeong read a book that was one thousand thirty one pages!She also said the cover did not look interesting,but what I t ...more
Nov 01, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Sarah Weeks and while I did enjoy this story I was left wanting more! It is a very short story (I read it in less than two hours) and it has great thematic elements and an interesting story line. It just ended too soon! I just know there is more to this story. It is a great transition book for those kids who are moving out of the elementary style chapter books and moving into the deeper emotional pull of middle school stories without adult themes. A true transitional book.
Jan 18, 2016 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adoption, reviewed
Verbena Colter is in for the shock of her life when, at age 11, she discovers that she was adopted as a baby after her alcoholic mother gave her up, and the reason for her trouble learning to read is because she suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. How can she stay as her mother’s “Sweetpea” when she knows that she’s no longer the person she thought she was? While it’s a nice story that charts a young girl’s growth after a life-changing event, Weeks chooses to use fetal alcohol syndrome as a plo ...more
Aug 30, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Verbana (Verbie) is not the average girl. She discovers that she is adopted, and her best friend, Annie, starts to do things without her. Verbie's biological parents are actually who she once thought was her uncle and his wife. Angry about the fact that her Uncle Mike had once murdered a person and that her biological mother had left her to struggle with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome, Verbie starts doing things she had never done before. However, some "flatlanders" soon move into a house ...more
Maria Hennes
Verbena Colter knows she's bad news. Trouble from the get-go. How could she not be, with parents like hers? Her mother practically pickled her before she was even born, leaving Verbie to struggle with the effects of fetal alchol syndrome. And her father was just plain mean. Verbie wishes she could be somebody, anybody other than who she is. Enter Pooch, a flatlander boy visiting for the summer. When Pooch and his mom rent the house next door, Verbie takes the opportunity to be someone else entir ...more
Mar 30, 2016 Raelyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response- Overall, I thought that this was an alright book. There was parts that were interesting and parts that were not. It did have a good story line to it.

Plot-This book was about a girl name Verbena Colter. She was a trouble maker. She had somewhat of a rough life. Her mom was an alcoholic while she was pregnant with Verbie. Her grandpa Colter died the day she was born. She was born with some birth defects, and born weighing four pounds seven ounces. She was adopted right away whe
Erin Wynn
Jun 15, 2015 Erin Wynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book As Simple as It Seems the main character Verbena Colter lives with her mom and dad in a small vacation town several hours outside of New York City discovers early in the book that she was adopted. She finds out that her mom and dad are really her aunt and uncle also that her real dad is in jail for murdering someone and her mom is an alcoholic who drank during pregnancy. Which resulted in Verbena being born with fatal alcohol syndrome. One day Verbena gets in a bad fight with her mot ...more
Ms. B
Jul 25, 2014 Ms. B rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, mhl, 2014
Wondering if this one will catch the interest of young readers or not. Verbena has recently learned that her parents are not her birth parents. She is their niece and they adopted her when she was a newborn. She is mad at herself, her parents* and the world. Then Pooch and his mother rent the house next door for a couple weeks. Will pretending she is someone she is not help her resolve her anger?
I found the first half of this book to be slow as it is only about Verbena and the dynamics between
Kristyna Bernal
Verbena Colter, an 11 year old girl living in New York who is adored by her parents. It was already devastating enough to her finding out that she was adopted, but after more secrets untangle, it will begin to tear her world apart piece by piece. She lost her best friend due to her non popularity issues but what does that matter? She was alone and terrified that she would end up like her birth family. Until she meets a friend who may have the potential to take all of her pain away. Will her new ...more
Brianne Durrant
Oct 22, 2012 Brianne Durrant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book, because it talks about the struggle of Verbena finding herself after she found out she was adopted. I would recommend this book to sixth graders, because it's an easy book to read.
Sophie Maggs
Oct 16, 2014 Sophie Maggs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2011 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
Great for tween girls freaked out by the early stages of puberty and all the mood swings
Jul 31, 2012 Letty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in two hours on the plane. A quick, fun read.
C. L.
Oh, oh, oh, is this book ever lovely. A deceptively simple story of a fifth grade girl dealing with, in addition to the general suckitude of early adolescence, fetal alcohol syndrome a d a fear that she might turn out like her biological parents, the words are lyrical, the main character is completely believable, and the the thing made me cry. I admit a particular bias because this may one day fit perfectly for a family member who will see very little of herself in most childrens' fiction. Highl ...more
Havlyn Salinas
As simple as it seems, by Sarah Weeks. I liked this book because, it was a story that had you smiling, and the book is different from all the other books I read. The main setting was Bonner's Lake. The main characters of this book was a girl named Verbena and a boy named Pooch. The main conflict was that Verbena finds out that she has FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). In her eyes she always knew something was wrong with her and that she was different, but she never knew why she was different. And wh ...more
Richie Partington
22 February 2010 AS SIMPLE AS IT SEEMS by Sarah Weeks, HarperCollins/Laura Geringer, June 2010, 192p., ISBN: 978-0-06-084663-3; Libr. ISBN: 978-0-06-084664-0

"The children felt with
their fingers for the quick beat of the bird's
heart in its breast. But there was no heart
beating. That was how they knew it was dead."
-- Margaret Wise Brown, THE DEAD BIRD (1938)

"Angels fall like rain
and love is all of heaven away"
-- Psychedelic Furs, "The Ghost in You"

"'Look here, Verbie,' she said. 'See how some of t
Beth G.
Verbena Colter has not been looking forward to the summer after fifth-grade graduation. Over the last year, she has drifted apart from her best friend, become self-conscious about having "the heaviest mother and the oldest father" among her classmates, and learned about a huge family secret. Is it any wonder that she's been feeling "mixed up and mean"? Now, all she wants is to be anyone other than herself. When she takes an opportunity to do just that, it turns out to be a bit more than she barg ...more
Teri Gorleski
I liked this book because I think that it's very discribtive, it uses very good descibing words. In the story when she was describing herself I saw her with skin as pail as a peach fuzz, her ponytails always so twisted like twizzlers, but her lips as red as a Washington apple. Something else in the story which made me like it was how the author really used good words to show how the characters were feeling. Like how one of the characters in the story (not going to say who don't want to spoil the ...more
May 27, 2011 Sunday rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 28, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Verbie is having a very bad summer. As she wraps up her fifth grade year, she is feeling pretty bleak. She has all kinds of mean rolling around inside her, her best friend has found a new friend, and Verbie can barely tolerate the sight of her mother. Of course, Verbie knows where some of the mean comes from. She's discovered that she is adopted. Through a twist of fate, the parents she has known her whole life turn out to be her aunt and uncle. It seems they went to New York to look for her ado ...more
When I started in on this book, I didn't realize that it was a middle grade book. Some middle grade books I can read, and I'm fine with. Others, I just can't read for some reason. This one was one of those that I could read, but this was just very... weird. I didn't really see what the purpose of the book was.

When the book is first starting out, it's very boring. You're basically just getting background on Verbie's life. There's nothing that's really interesting, and there's nothing there that
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this book rocks 5 10 Mar 31, 2014 04:08PM  
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Sarah Weeks has been writing children’s books and songs for the past twenty years. She is a graduate of Hampshire College and NYU and recently became an adjunct faculty member in the prestigious Writing Program at the New School University, in New York City.

Her first YA novel, So B. It, which appeared on the LA Times bestseller list was chosen as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and received the
More about Sarah Weeks...

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“Life is complicated sometimes to be sure, but there are other times...when life is just as sweet, and good, and simple as it seems.” 5 likes
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