Bloomsbury Children's Books

June 2019


264p pb

ISBN: 978-1526606907

fp March 2012

The Weight Of Water

Sarah Crossan

from Bloomsbury...

Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother leave Poland and head for the UK to find her father. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother’s heart is breaking and at school Kasienka finds it impossible to make new friends. While the search continues, Kasienka is kept afloat by William, a boy she meets at the local pool who understands what it means to lose someone and who swims with Kasienka towards her new life.

The Weight of Water is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles head-on the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental, and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

In her debut novel, written in verse, Sarah Crossan delivers a moving and engaging coming-of-age tale. Covering themes of racism, poverty, immigration, family relationships and friendship to name a few, this is a powerful novel written in a lyrical prose to great effect.

The protagonist, 12 year old Kasienka, has moved to England from Poland with her mother in search of her father who left them. Living in a new country and being very poor, Kasienka faces many difficulties, from being put down a level in school to being bullied by popular girl Clair. On top of this is her mother’s desperation to find her husband which leads them to trawling the street and door knocking. Things get worse when she discovers her father and his new life and this leads to a very fractious relationship with her mother.  Despite this there is light in Kasienka’s life in the form of neighbour Kanoro and fellow swimmer, William, at her school.

Written in blue text throughout (hard cover edition), this novel in verse is sure to captivate readers. With its strong characters, easily flowing text and realistic portrayal of events this book is most suitable to upper primary and lower secondary readers. Highly recommended.

Stephen, Canberra, Australia

This story is about a girl named Kasienka who used to live in Poland but had to move to England.  Kasienka’s parents had an argument one night and in the morning Tata/dad was gone.  When Mama woke up she found the note that Tata had written.  It simply said “Ola I have gone to England”.

So Mama left Poland in search of Tata so they could be together again.  When Kasienka started school in England she found it very hard.  She was made fun of and had no friends. As endless nights passed, Kasienka’s mama keeps searching for Tata.  Every night she knocks on every single door, street by street dragging Kasienka along as well.  Kasienka so badly wants to tell Mama that it is useless but she doesn’t want to upset Mama and break her hope.  Will they ever find Tata so they can move on?

Eventually Mama and Kasienka find a friend named Kanoro.  He often joined them for meal times to encourage Mama and kept her company.  Kasienka loved to swim after school.  She was good at it too and was hoping to make it into the school swimming team!

The book dealt with the theme of love, family and friendship.  It was easy to read.

I like how the story was written in a poetic style.  The story was not spelt out, even with unexplained details, but was told through the impression the words created. I give the book 7/10. For readers 11 to 13 years old.

Abigail, age 11, Canberra, Australia

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