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The Weight of Water

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  5,951 ratings  ·  1,003 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
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Akasha The main character is 13 and describes teenage behaviors like dating, shaving her legs, and teenage bullying. I was evaluating this for my class of 5t…moreThe main character is 13 and describes teenage behaviors like dating, shaving her legs, and teenage bullying. I was evaluating this for my class of 5th graders, but it is too mature for them. (less)
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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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,951 ratings  ·  1,003 reviews

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Reading Corner
Mar 04, 2016 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
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, arc, 2013, poetry

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 w
Oct 16, 2011 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.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jo by: Jenna
“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 ad
The Weight of Water is the story of Kasienka, a Polish girl who moved with her mother to England to look for her father, who has left them. I like Sarah Crossan's writing and I have read some of her work before. But this book was a bit on the cliche side for me. It's not bad just over done. Although if I were to complain about anything it would be the lack of positive female characters. Not every female in the universe is the "mean girl" or apart of the mean girl's group and it feels like I have ...more
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, poetry
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.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5/5 Stars

I always like a Sarah Crossan's book. This one was well done and I appreciate so much the fact that it was written in verse, the author is truly good with this writing style.
I think the story is one a lot of people could relate to, not only because of the immigrant aspect which is very prominent in the narrative, but also because of the family theme that is always present on the page.
I would categorize this book as a middle grade, but don't let this discourage you from reading it be
Alice (Married To Books)
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
The story of a young Polish girl called Kasienka, who along with her mother leave their home country and travel to England in search of Kasienka's birth father. Along the way, she starts at a new high school and runs into a group of nasty students in her year group. All she ever wants to be is happy and swim in the local pool, competing for school and country. This, along with Sarah's other novels I've read by her is written in verse. The short, poetic chapters made for raw emotional reflection. ...more
A short, basic read. The story was alright, quite mediocre and not much happened. It just felt quite basic and underdeveloped. I adored One, also written by Crossan in a freeverse format, but this just felt very two dimensional and boring.
Jx PinkLady Reviews ♡ @bookwormthoughts
Young Adult

Thoughts to follow
Kara 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
Lydia Duncalfe
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book made me cry. I felt so much frustration and heartache for Kasienka right through to the end, and, when there were glimmers of hope, I revelled in them. The story is beautifully written, poem-like in structure with a powerful rhythm that had me marching through, desperate to reach those happier moments. A good book to consider using with upper KS2 children in PSHE in regard to bullying and family separations.
Stacey (prettybooks)
Sarah Crossan’s One is one of my all-time favourite YA novels, but I hadn’t yet picked up her first verse novel, The Weight of Water. It’s about 12-year-old Kasienka who moves from Poland to England with her mother, searching for the father who left them.

Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I picked this book up completely on a whim, i'd never heard of it or the author before but it was on display at the library and I was quite taken by the cover.
This book is told in verse and is a story about a Polish immigrant coming to the UK and trying to fit in.
Its a very quick read, i read it in about 20 minutes or so, and I enjoyed it but wasn't bowled over as such.

3.5 stars
Jahanzaib Asim
“And though he is right,
It makes me feel worse
Because I do not know
How to be happy.”

Although I have read only two of Crossan's books. It's safe to say I love her. I read One last year and it actually made me cry and love it so bad, it jumped onto my top #5 spots. Although it has been replaced, but nevermind that. Sarah Crossan knows how to make you feel. She knows how to squeeze your heart and make you use up a whole box of tissues.
Yeah, she's that good. Not many authors are able to do that.

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.
Jun 12, 2019 added it
Shelves: poetry, young-adult
April is here, and there’s a new Bookish bingo challenge to compete in! I didn’t score a bingo last month, and this time around I’m determined to be more strategic about my picks. One of the boxes I’d like to tick off is “verse novel,” which gave me the excuse I needed to dive into another Sarah Crossan book. The Weight of Water was Crossan’s debut and it follows a young girl named Kasienka as she adjusts to her new life in England with her mother. The two immigrated from Poland to track down Ka ...more
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.
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone…should…read…this…beautiful…and…heartbreaking…book! Trust me, you'll never regret reading it just as I thought I would! ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-library
What a little gem!

A very moving story about a young Polish girl who moves to the UK with her mother, in search of the father who abandoned them.

The style wasn't something I'd read before, but I really enjoyed it.

It felt so realistic and Kasienka was such a great, strong character (unlike her parents).

4.5 stars :)
Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books
The Weight of Water is a short but stunning novel, written completely in verse, about picking up the pieces and starting over again.

Kasienka and her mother arrive in England from Poland, in search of Kasienka's "Tata" (father), who abandoned them when she was very young. She is enrolled in a secondary school in Coventry, but is treated as an outsider and an intruder by classmates who constantly poke fun at her. She finds solace in swimming and befriends an adult neighbour, both of which bring he
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book so so so much!

I loved the fact that it is about immigration because it is a topic that's very close to my heart with myself being an immigrant. Showing the hard transition from one culture to another and the daily struggles every teenager has at a foreign school was so well done!

I liked how the water was portrayed as both a struggle and a bliss because they had to cross it when moving from Poland to England but at the end it turned out that it was water again that made Kasi
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was weak with emotions in my opinion. I didn't find much of a lasting impression. But, it did intrigue me to explore more books written in verse. I thought books of this kind would be sensitive and alluring. But not this one. ...more
Weronika Zimna
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, in-polish, poetry
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.
Fatima mehjabin
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is such a cutesy & well-written story about an immigrant girl and her mom trying to fit into a new society.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This one sucked me right in and held me there until I had to read it all in one sitting. Kasienka and her mother arrive in a suburb of London to look for Kasienka's father, who left her and her mother in Poland and fled to England. Cassie, as she is called in school, tries to live a life of her own while trying to help her mother, but Mama is clearly obsessed and pays less attention to her daughter. Luckily, their African immigrant neighbor Kanoro is there to listen and be a friend to both mothe ...more
Elinor Master of Gifs
Not quite was I was expecting, but still quite good.
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
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
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
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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

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“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…