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The Weight of Water

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,623 ratings  ·  833 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…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

Showing 1-30
3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,623 ratings  ·  833 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: arc, young-adult, poetry, 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
Cait • A Page with a View
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I usually have a hard time getting into stories told in verse, but the lyrical style here was absolutely mesmerizing.

Kasienka and her mother are Polish immigrants in England who are looking for the missing father. Even though Kasienka is smart, she's put in a lower grade level at school because she can't speak English as well. She navigates her way through this new world and its challenges with straightforward insight that paints such a clear picture of her life.

So I was invested in the story
“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 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
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really 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.
Een uitgebreidere recensie is te vinden op mijn blog

Na nog even nagedacht te hebben, ga ik toch voor 3 sterren ipv 4. Niet omdat dit boek slecht was, maar omdat de hoofdpersoon mij niet zo aansprak. Kasienka is echt een lieverd, maar je leert haar niet helemaal kennen naar mijn idee.

Het vorige boek dat ik van Sarah Crossan las, Een, vond ik veel sterker dan dit boek. Daar leerde je de hoofdpersoon echt door en door kennen.
Maar dan nog even een positief punt: wat lezen deze boeken heerlijk snel
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.

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
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.
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.

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
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.
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.
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!
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 :)
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
Weronika Zimna
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-polish, poetry, faves
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 TM
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
A m i r
داستان مادر و دختریه که از لهستان به انگلیس اومدهن برای پیدا کردن پدری که ترکشون کرده. سارا کروسان عجیب مینویسه. اینکه با این کلمات کم داستانی به این واضحی و پرکشش نوشته میشه برام خیلی هیجانانگیزه. کاسینکا، دختر خانواده، تنهاست. توی مدرسه ازش دوری میکنند و حتی به آزارش دست میزنند. روایت سختی مهاجرتها و جنگیدنی ازین دست.
رمان توی گروه سنی جوان تعریف میشه. اما کلن پیشنهاد میشه.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Niet zo verbluffend sterk als EEN, maar toch vind ik dit weer een erg goed boek. Met simpel rijm, zorgvuldig afgebroken regels en eenvoudig taalgebruik laat zien dat poëzie en proza in versvorm dé manier is om ontzettend veel te zeggen terwijl je eigenlijk heel weinig woorden gebruikt en dat is zó knap. Tal van thema's komen bij elkaar en er zit een prachtig vloeiende lijn in het verhaal. Het is een unieke leeservaring, waardoor je echt van begin tot eind meegenomen wordt in de beleving van de h ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Encore une fois, Sarah Crossan a réussi à m’emporter dans son univers et je me suis retrouvée à l’âge de mes 13 ans, en 5ème, à place de Kasienka, notre petite héroïne. Les sensations ressenties par l’adolescente nous prennent au cœur et nous apprenons avec elle l’adaptation parfois compliquée dans un pays dans lequel on ne parle pas bien la langue et surtout l’adaptation dans un nouvel établissement scolaire où l’on est « l’étrangère » de service…..Notre héroïne doit aussi faire face au désarro ...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
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
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 ...




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.
This book was a powerful dose of intensity based on something that is very prevalent in today's society. It goes in depth with issues that people go through every single day and offers a perspective that isn't often discussed and definitely should be.

It offers a stark reality into the lives of those that leave their home countries, for whatever reason it may be, and the heartbreak and difficulties that it can cause for everyone involved. It demonstrates the issues that people go through when tr
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weer een mooie YA van Sarah Crossan, geschreven in vrije versvorm. Na Een en Nieuwe Maan was ik namelijk wel benieuwd naar meer en vond ik dit - wat onbekendere - boek van haar in de bibliotheek. Prachtig, echt. Het raakte me net als 'Een' heel erg. Wel vond ik de vrije vers hier minder toevoegen dan in haar andere boeken en leer je de hoofdpersoon nét niet goed genoeg kennen. Maar toch, prachtig boek. Over onderwerpen als pesten, familie, verliefd worden en verhuizen naar een ander land. Ik las ...more
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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
“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…