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Head Above Water

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Skye has primary responsibility of caring for her brother Sunny, who has Down syndrome, while her mother holds down two jobs. All the while, Skye tries to maintain her 3.5 GPA and trains to qualify for the state swimming championships in hopes of earning a college scholarship. She also struggles to come to terms with her feelings for her boyfriend, who wan ...more
Published April 1st 2003 by Freestone (GA) (first published September 1st 1999)
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Jennifer Wardrip
May 05, 2008 Jennifer Wardrip rated it liked it
Reviewed by Grandma Bev for

Skye Johnson, a junior in high school, is an excellent swimmer, and is training to qualify for State. The state swimming competition could net a college scholarship for Skye. Her older brother, Sunny, has Down Syndrome. Since her divorced mother must work more than one job to support the family, she is away from home most of the time, and it is Skye's job to watch out for Sunny. He's a great kid, always cheerful, but he does require a lot of time from
Jose M
May 28, 2013 Jose M rated it it was amazing
The noble Head Above Water is about how family and friendship is the most important thing in life. The main characters of this noble are Skye, Sunny (Skye older brother), Mike, Jenny, and Skye's and Sunny’s mom. Skye is a junior in High school and a state qualifying swimmer, she lives with her older Brother Sunny and her single mother that occupies two jobs to provide her family with all the necessary things they need each and every day. Skey has to take care of her big brother Sunny because he ...more
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
This is a story about a swimmer, a daughter, a sister and a friend--but most of all it is a journey of Skye accepting and learning who she is.
I connected with aSkye, and even if I haven't been in some of her unique roles as a caretaker to her brother with Down's, and I've never had any experience with competitive swimming, her struggle to find her place, and really appreciate what life has to offer even in the midst of hard times makes for a wonderful story.
The way she handles things that l
Music Luver
The only way I could describe any of the emotions and all of them at the same time is, Its like a tidal wave. It (the book) sweeps you up and instantly you become apart of the story. This is mainly about how Skye struggles with her everyday life and shes human, so in turn, she makes mistakes. At the same time though, shes not. Being the girl that i am, i find this story to be extremely realistic. And completely fictional. You have to relate in a sense, and then your hooked. Thats how a good stor ...more
Aug 25, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teenage girls, from Middle School-High School.
Shelves: yal, novels, fiction
I originally picked this book up because of the title, and I found so much more. I read this for the first time in Jr. High and I can remember being so excited. Skye was the first character that I felt I could really relate to. I feel like this was really the first YAL title I read on my own, without any teacher influence or input. This was the first book I read that felt real, that felt like it could actually happen to me or to someone I knew. I really think this is the book that got me into YA ...more
Sam Novakowski
Apr 11, 2011 Sam Novakowski rated it liked it
Skye is a junior in highschool who loves to swim, she wants to have her own time to herself because of 99% of the time she takes care of her brother who has Down Syndrome. She had stared dating the most popular guy in school he turns out to be a jerk and try to force her to do things. Skye had started to be mean to Sunny and puch him away. In the end Skye does the right thing breaks up with Mike and than helped Sunny. Skye had stopped thinking about herself and Sunny was able to swim and finish ...more
Sheila Welch
Apr 08, 2014 Sheila Welch rated it really liked it
My daughter, who happens to be a middle school librarian, is a big fan of this author. I read one of Rottman's earlier books and felt it had potential, so I looked for more of her novels. This one is very good! It's told in first person and feels as though a teenager could have written it. I'd recommend it for readers ages 13 and older.
Jordyn Mcgee
Apr 15, 2009 Jordyn Mcgee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
This book is about a teenage girl named Skye who is training for the state swimming championships so she can win a college scholarship. She also cares for her older brother Sunny, who has down syndrome. Skye chooses to break a trust while trying to make time for her new boyfriend but finds out she is faced with an even greater dilemma.
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I love this author! Skye, a high school junior, tries to find the time for both family obligations and personal interests, which include caring for her brother who has Down's Syndrome, dating her first boyfriend, and swimming competitively.
Apr 11, 2011 Koqua rated it really liked it
i liked this book a lot. it is about a girl whoo likes to swim and about her life. she has to teach her older brother to swim because he wants to learn to swim. when he was younger he tried to but he drowned and started to scream and cry.
Jan 25, 2010 Deirdre rated it liked it
Interesting premise that was executed in an okay manner. Nothing special, nothing awful. As a side note, Skye is a fast swimmer but not THAT fast...

Yashoda Krishna
Oct 05, 2009 Yashoda Krishna rated it really liked it
The reason why I loved this book was because it showed what could happen in my life. if it did happen to me, I would be able to relate. I loved how the author described every single move the main character made. She made it very informative but at the same time, mysterious.
Phillip rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2012
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Dec 28, 2012
L11_Nick Mamula
L11_Nick Mamula rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2011
Kimber Pogue
Kimber Pogue rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2012
Stephanie Clark
Stephanie Clark rated it it was ok
Jun 22, 2013
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Jun 18, 2013
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Apr 07, 2013
Sarah rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2014
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