As Simple as It Seems
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As Simple as It Seems

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,048 ratings  ·  197 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...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by HarperCollins (first published June 1st 2010)
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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
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
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...more
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
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
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
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.
I chose this book to read after The Diviners because I knew it was going to be a light, simple, yet living book, and that's exactly what it was.
This book was centered around Verbena, a girl who doesn't know really know who she is after finding out the truth of her past.
While Verbena is pretending to be a different person she realizes as much fun as it is to joke and pretend it's a whole lot easier to be yourself and tell the truth. Verbena also comes to the realization to appreciate the simple...more
Brianne Durrant
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.
As Simple As It Seems By: Sarah Weeks
Review by Hanaa Ahmar
The book As Simple As It Seems is about how a girl named Verena Colter (Verbie) just spells trouble. I mean I don't blame her with parents like hers . Her mother practically let her struggle before and after she was born with the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. And her father just mean and cruel. Verbie just wants to be anyone but herself. Then a boy named Pooch a boy visiting for the summer comes along. But Verbie sees the opportuni...more
Great for tween girls freaked out by the early stages of puberty and all the mood swings
Read this in two hours on the plane. A quick, fun read.
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
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...more
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
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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...more
Karen Ball
Verbena Ellen Colter isn't who she thought she was. Her kind, slightly goofy (and embarrassing) parents have kept an explosive family secret from her up until now, and suddenly her mood swings and angry rages are taking on a new, darker tone (at least in her mind). The real reason she is different from other children is that Verbena was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which affects the way she looks, how she grows, and how she learns and behaves. On top of that revelation, she's lost her best...more
Kay Mcgriff
Growing up is hard to do, especially if you are Verbana Colter, stuck between fifth and sixth grade. First of all, she's just learned her parents are not her parents--or so she believes. Her mother was an alcoholic who nearly pickled her during pregnancy. The effects of fetal alcohol syndrome have given her a scrawny body and struggles in school. Her father is in prison for killing a man. Now Verbie is convinced that she is bound to be nothing but trouble. The evidence? Her best friend Annie is...more
As Simple As it Seems
Sarah Weeks
Realistic Fiction
182 Pages
Date Finished: 10/30/12

As Simple As It Seems, written by Sarah Weeks is a bout an eleven and a half year old girl named Verbena Colter. In this book, Verbena faces a lot of problems. The fact that she's adopted and her real dad is in jail, is enough to make her whole world miserable. Not to mention the fact that her real mom is alcoholic, resulting in Verbie, (as Verbena is called in the book) struggles with fetal alcohol syndrome. Verbi...more
Sherry Ellis
Twelve-year-old Verbena Colter, thinks her life is pretty simple - until she finds out it's not: Her parents aren't really her parents. Her best friend ditches her for a new friend. And her emotions are suddenly very negative and difficult to control. It looks like Verbena's life is spiraling downward until a young boy, nicknamed Pooch, moves into a nearby rental house. The two strike up an unusual friendship, and eventually Verbena learns that while life isn't simple and perfect, it's still goo...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Verbena "Verbie" has always been different. She is tiny, and she looks different than the other kids she comes across in school and elsewhere. It isn't until she learns that she's adopted that things begin to make sense.

Verbie's adoptive parents love her dearly, but when she is told about her biological parents, Verbie begins to act out. It's not easy to learn that her mother drank heavily during her pregnancy, causing Verbie to suf...more
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During fifth grade, Verbena Colter’s life ceases to be as simple as it was before. She’s always been smaller than her peers, and she’s always looked different, but she accepts her parents’ explanation- she was born one month early. But that doesn’t explain why she’s suddenly feeling moody and saying mean things to her mother. Then, Verbie finds a letter addressed to a strange woman, and starts asking questions. Mrs. Colter tells her beloved daughter that she’s adopted- her mother was an alcoholi...more
Sarah Week's As Simple As It Seems is a story that benefited from an audio reading. The story is simple enough, pleasant enough, but the audio version made it something a bit more special.

Synopsis: 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...more
Verbena is at a crossroads...leaving childhood behind and entering young adulthood, but she is fighting, kicking, and clawing all the way there. She's furious at her best friend Annie who is suddenly into boys, makeup, and hanging with the popular girls. Verbena wants none of it.

Summer is going to be lonely for Verbena, but it gets even worse when she finds out, quite by accident, that she is adopted. What's even MORE worse is that her biological father is in jail for murder and her biologica...more
Now in the eyes of Verbena, she thinks that her mother is fat, her best friend abandoned her for another girl in the summer, and life stinks. Oh, and she finds out her 'parents?' Aren't really her parents. Nope. Her birth father is in jail, and her birth mother is an alcoholic. Can life get any worse?

Apparently, it can. Now all she can think is this is why I'm such a bad person. I'm a freak.

But as we see things in the eyes of Verbena, we now find out it's summer time, and she's ready for som...more
Linda Lipko
This is indeed a very simple book delightfully told. Verbena lives in a tiny community with her father and mother. When she learns that she is adopted, life gets more complicated for her.

Finding a friend from out of town enables her to share her secret and helps her to discover how much she appreciates her non biological mother and father.

The book is trite, nothing in depth, a bit corny, but a delightful quick read on a fall afternoon.
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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
More about Sarah Weeks...
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