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The Weight of Water

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,432 Ratings  ·  503 Reviews
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 ori ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published December 25th 2011)
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Nida This is a really good book with a great storyline. It deserves to be read and that is why she wrote it.
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17th out of 115 books — 89 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Reading Corner
Mar 14, 2016 Reading Corner rated it really liked it
The Weight Of Water is a novel written in a beautiful,poetic style which creates a fantastic story and atmosphere.Kasienka and her mother move to England, in search of Tata,Kasienka's dad who her mother is determined to find despite Kasienka's reluctance. Kasienka encounters numerous problems throughout the book, in school and at home.

The novel deals with numerous themes, relevant to young people and adults.The honesty in Sarah Crossan's writing is a brilliant aspect of this book, as she doesn't
Emily May
Feb 16, 2015 Emily May rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, poetry, arc, 2013

I need to finally brush off my prejudice against books that are written in verse. Every single time I raise a sceptical eyebrow in their direction - completely unable to believe that this is anything more than just lazy storytelling - and every single time I find myself impressed. The Weight of Water was no exception. This is a delightful, if somewhat heartbreaking, little story that took me just over an hour to read.

I've noticed some people shelving this as "middle grade" and I understand why
“When I am in the water
My body moves like a wave:
There is a violence to it
And a beauty.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
“And it
Never felt so good.”


High Points.
Kasienka. William. The writing. Friendship. Saying goodbye. Reunions. Butterfly stroke. Kisses like Haribo. Love is a large W. Mama. Resilience. Culture. Blueberry ice cream. Girly sleepovers. Tummy tumbles.

Low Points.
I would have loved to have had a few more poems set when Kasienka and her mum were in Poland. I think it would have adde
Oct 16, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It's my novel, so I'm giving it five stars in the hope that I start a trend! Do hope you enjoy reading it. Any thoughts, send me a message; I'd love to hear from you.
Arielle Walker
Mar 22, 2013 Arielle Walker rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, young-adult
I'm not usually a fan of novels written in poetic form, but this was an exception. Much like the water which is a recurring motive, this is far deeper than it first appears, with a beautifully written protagonist. The sparse words were infinitely more evocative than dense prose would have been. I found that the characters moved fluidly and realistically throughout Kasienka's life, and the result was a beautifully moving piece of literature.
Simply lovely.

Excerpt from book:

We weren't on a ship.

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan is the story of twelve year old Kasienka. Kasienka’s mother is on a mission to find her husband after he left, so she and Kasi leave Poland and move to Coventry, England.

Kasi is an amazing girl; she’s intelligent and a talented swimmer. All she wants is to be accepted by the girls in her class but instead she encounters racism and bullying. I appreciated Kasi acknowledging that back home, she treated a new girl at her school similarly as I always find it har
Ben Babcock
Talk about come-from-behind challengers. I was so certain I had my Carnegie nominees sorted, and then I read the The Weight of Water. I almost didn’t read it. It’s getting close to the end of the school year, and in a week’s time I’ll be on a plane back to Canada for the summer. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest the time in reading this book, particularly because it is written in verse. Poetry and I are … fairweather friends.

Not reading this book would have been a huge mistake, one I’m glad I did
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Dec 05, 2015 Claire (Book Blog Bird) rated it really liked it
I’ve never been attracted to books that are written in verse. I like poetry and I like novels and I’ve always thought that the two should never be mixed.

But damn if Sarah Crossan doesn ‘t manage to pull it off.

Earelier this year, I was lucky enough to get an early copy of One for review and the depth of emotion told in so few words completely astounded me and had me hooked on Crossan’s work.

I didn’t realise The Weight of Water was another free verse book, but after reading One it wouldn’t have p
There won't be a review as I don't think I can write a review to show how much I was surprised with this novel. A brief thought:

The Weight of Water is raw, heart breaking and real. There were many deep subjects that young adult readers will enjoy although the main character was a middle grade child. This was written in free verse poem style- which I actually loved.
Jabiz Raisdana
Simply Perfect. Do yourself a favor, carve out a few hours and read this in one sitting. It will leave a tiny stone in your gut that you will be unable to free yourself from for days.

Beautifully written. Image rich and perfect for teen-agers dealing with being the odd-person out and fitting in. Loved this book.
Apr 02, 2016 Weronika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I have no words. I have never read anything like this. (This book is actually a collection of poems that tell the story. And, God, they do it well.) My mom was right, this book is incredibly important.
People should read it. You should read it.
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
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 compa ...more
I didn't think I was going to like this. It was short, written in free verse and I was a little annoyed at the situation the characters put themselves in. I mean what was the mother thinking? Why would you up yourself in that situation as though life was some kind of fairy tale? And why should another country automatically greet you with open arms when you deliberately compound a problem? Now I am aware that this may come across as racially hostile but I really isn't. My parents are Polish. My n ...more
Mar 18, 2016 Jenna rated it really liked it
Before this book I thought verse novels weren't for me, but I was wrong. I couldn't put this down and devoured it all in one sitting - and loved every second of it.

Kasienka is a young Polish girl dragged to England by her mother to chase down the father that deserted them. Plonked down in a foreign land, in a dismal apartment, in the wrong grade at school, with a hopeless task ahead of her and a troubled mother with only one focus (and it's sadly not Kasienka), her feelings of isolation, sadness
The Weight Of Water was a quick read! (an hour!) but it was beautiful. Poetry is a beautiful thing. Free verse especially so you can make it your own special something. I fell in love with one special chapter though,

"Love is a Large W

Love is watching
Love is waiting
Love is wanting
Love is worrying
Love is wishing
Love is willing

Love is whispers
Love is wet
Love is wordless

Love is him
Love is me
Love is we
Love is...
Love is ...




Mrs Mac McKenzie
I loved this book. It was easy and quick to read being written in prose but packed a powerful punch. It deals with the issues of immigration, language, relationships, split families, bullying, making friends, and finding your place in a flowing and beautiful story. This is definitely a reread in the near future.
Apr 09, 2016 Jasmijn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, favorites
This book was heartbreaking, perfect, powerful and unique. You have to read it. Just do that...
May 04, 2016 Louise rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, contemporary, poetry
After reading One by Sarah Crossan I wanted delve into more of her works. This is Sarah's debut novel and I really enjoyed it. What makes her books unique is that they are written in verse, so you can either read it like poetry or just as a normal book.

The weight of water follows Kasienka and her mother who are Polish migrants travelling to the UK to find her father who upped and left one day never to return, all they know is that he lives in Coventry. They manage to rent a bed sit with one bed
Dani (Pen to Paper)
Jun 18, 2015 Dani (Pen to Paper) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed
Like this review? I have more! Come and follow me at Pen to Paper

When I received this book to review from Bloomsbury, I knew it would be entirely different from anything I've read before - poetry and prose alike. In the press release that I received with the book, one of the first things it says about the book is: "The line between poetry and fiction blurs in this startlingly original book. Crossan deftly tackles subjects of immigration and bullying through her narrator Kasienka". When I read th
Apr 02, 2015 Manini rated it really liked it
Shelves: comfort-read
I don't usually like reading books written in a poetic manner, but this was an different. The first page reminded me of grade 7, when we were reading poetry, I was really sick of it, and the first page brought back memories of that time. This book, I read it in an hour today morning. It was so simple and easy to read, to understand the character as well as her motivations. Honestly, I enjoyed it
Nov 23, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Written in verse, this is a very quick read but it deals with some serious issues. Not sure why books in verse seem to be so depressing, yet every one I have read has been rather good. This does have a hopeful ending, so don't give up. Heartbreaking, yet ultimately heartwarming this book was a winner just like Kasienka.
Casey Hudson
May 18, 2012 Casey Hudson rated it really liked it
Kasienka is 12, an only child, and an immigrant. Brought to England by her hopeful mother—in search of the man who abandoned them—"Cassie" experiences her coming of age in confusion... and in verse.

This unique approach to storytelling is part of what makes this tale so intriguing. Told through a collection of poems, the protagonist's experiences read more like a memoir than a children's book. The precision of vocabulary profoundly concentrates the emotional turmoil Kasienka faces. The turmoil of
Sep 15, 2013 Ela rated it really liked it
A bittersweet story, told through a series of poems, about a Polish girl who's mother drags her to England; trying to find her father who walked out on them.

When she reaches England she experiences a barrage of ignorance, rainy days and abuse, as she struggles to survive.

I don't usually like modern books written in verse but I was pleasantly surprised here. The poetry worked well in conveying the emptiness of Kasienka's life.

To start with I thought this book deserved no more than two stars, thre
Beth Bonini
"Leaving Gdansk Glowny" is the title of the first prose-poem in this YA (11+) novel.
The protagonist and narrator is Kasienka (soon dubbed Cassie), a 13 year old Polish girl who accompanies her mother to England to track down "Tata" -- missing father and husband.

At first glance, this seems to be a novel about the immigrant experience -- but it's not really, or at least not entirely. More important than the details of being an immigrant to England are the details of being a 13 year old girl. I th
Jan 03, 2015 Yukta rated it it was amazing
The weight of water was quite an easy read, but that didn't stop me from reading the book. I loved the way the words on each page were written as though it was a poem. The book was also very interesting and I enjoyed reading the book. One of the many reasons I enjoyed the book was because it had been written in a similar way to the books 'Love that dog' and 'Hate that cat' by Sharon Creech. It felt good reading the weight of water after reading a book that was a 'stretch' for me.
Jun 21, 2015 Kathleen rated it really liked it
This novel in verse tells the story of Kasienka, a twelve-year-old Polish girl who immigrates to England with her mother in search of her father. The author tells a complex story about the immigration experience, as well as the complexities of family dynamics that are affected by immigration. Kasienka is very much an outsider in her new school in England. She has a different hairstyle than the other girls, her clothes are different, her language is different, and nobody wants to be friends with ...more
Faye Fong
I think that this book was a really powerful and amazing book. Even though it is a poetry kind of book, it still manages to get the message of many different themes across. After reading the book, I found a theme that stuck out to me the most. This theme that I think the author showed was that people shouldn't change themselves just fit in with the crowd. Here is a part of my Bend 1 Thematic Essay:

Changing yourself isn’t the key to fitting in and it is shown very clearly in “The Weight of Water
Aug 14, 2014 Seika rated it really liked it
Wow. That pretty much sums up what I thought about this book. Despite the fact that I'm not that great at interpreting poetry this was simple and easy to understand. I knew the plot and loved the characters. Though I don't how many people actually experience what Kasienka did the characters are raw and I love that.

Mama - Hopeful and that's the only thing that's driving her to keep looking for Tata. Even when she did discover the news she learns to cope with it in a very realistic way.

Kasienka -
Jun 07, 2015 Liam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
( 4.3 stars )

This was such a fast yet beautiful read!!

The story felt so incredibly real and was written so fantastically! The whole book is written in verse so it felt like reading lots of small poems and it all flowed together so well.

This book is extremely unique, emotional and just so precious! My heart has been warmed by the utter beauty of this short yet extremely satisfying read.
Jan 30, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-this-year
4.25 stars

Finished this a few days ago, really well written. Love it.
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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 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing.

She curren
More about Sarah Crossan...

Share This Book

“When I am alone
I do not know who I am.

When I am alone
I am nothing.”
“I don't want you to write a poem for me
But it would be nice if you did.

And if you bought a rose for me
It would be OK too
But I don't want you to buy flowers

I don't want you to carry my book bag
But if you feel like doing that
I wouldn't stop you.

I wouldn't stop you being romantic
If that's what you wanted.”
More quotes…