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The weight of water
2013
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Written in verse, in the voice of a Polish girl forced to move to England with her mother, this is a wrenching but hopeful story of displacement, loneliness, and survival. In their one-room rental, Kasienka, nearly 13, watches helplessly as her mother unravels, determined to track down the husband who abandoned them. Her school life is also bleak: she's initially placed with younger students because of her poor English, teachers are patronizing, her classmates shun her, and the one girl who befriends her suddenly turns on her. Kasienka's observations are insightful and hard-hitting ("I am not an English girl in Gdansk./ I'm a Pole in Coventry./ And that is not the same thing./ At all"), and her resilience prevents her from being a victim. She finds solace in swimming ("Water is another world:/ A land with its own language./ Which I speak fluently"), in the friendship of a neighbor from Kenya, and in her first love. Crossan's (Breathe) verse packs a punch as she examines the power that difference-but also determination-can wield. Ages 10-14. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-Kasienka and her mother have left their home in Poland to find the father and husband who left them a few years before. They arrive in the UK with some meager possessions and only a vague notion of where to find a man who may not wish to be found. Kasienka feels "all wrong," a feeling that only gets worse when she finds herself in the crosshairs of one of her school's alpha girls. On top of the bullying, she must travel door to door each night acting as her mother's voice in a demeaning search for her father. Kasienka tells her tale through graceful, effortless verse that succinctly captures the immigrant experience in a way that anyone who has ever felt left out could easily embrace. This is a sweet, well-paced tale not without a silver lining; Kasienka finds happiness and the stirrings of first love in an unexpected place-the swimming pool. Those who have wished for an older version of Carolyn Marsden's The Gold-Threaded Dress (Candlewick, 2002) or Eleanor Estes's The Hundred Dresses (Harcourt, 1944) need look no further. The Weight of Water will more than fill the hole.-Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
<p>Carrying just a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother are immigrating to England from Poland. Kasienka isn't the happiest girl in the world. At home, her mother is suffering from a broken heart as she searches for Kasienka's father. And at school, Kasienka is having trouble being the new girl and making friends. The only time she feels comforted is when she's swimming at the pool. But she can't quite shake the feeling that she's sinking. Until a new boyswims into her life, and she learns that there might be more than one way to stay afloat.</p> <p> The Weight of Water is a coming-of-age story that deftly handles issues of immigration, alienation, and first love. Moving and poetically rendered, this novel-in-verse is the story of a young girl whose determination to find out who she is prevails.</p>
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