Author: Sarah Crossan
Publication date: December 2011
Genre: YA, Poetry, Contemporary
Date read: 24th April 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads
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 original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles 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.
After reading One by Sarah Crossan I wanted delve into more of her works. This is Sarah’s debut novel and I really enjoyed it. What makes her books unique is that they are written in verse, so you can either read it like poetry or just as a normal book.
The weight of water follows Kasienka and her mother who are Polish migrants travelling to the UK to find her father who upped and left one day never to return, all they know is that he lives in Coventry. They manage to rent a bed sit with one bed that they have to share and with little money Kasienka’s mum takes on a hospital job. Kasienka’s mum is determined to find her husband and as Kasi’s English is better than hers she is forced to walk streets of Coventry looking for her dad. Not only does she have to contend with her mum, she also started a new school where she doesn’t fit in and becomes a target to bullies. The only thing that Kasienka was good at was swimming which she loved and was also pretty good at. It was where she could escape, It was there she met William.
I loved this book, it is so realistic, raw and heart – breaking. In the UK we have thousands of Polish people come to live in the UK sometimes for work and sometimes for unknown reasons but what we forget is how hard and challenging it can be for them to arrive in a country they are not familiar with and the language barrier.You also forget how difficult it must be at school for them – due to Kasi’s language barrier the teacher was not aware of how intelligent she was and enrolled her in a younger year. Kasi is 12 and a very intelligent girl who just wants to fit in at school or even better to return to Poland with her Mother and Father. You see the struggles that she has to overcome and her developing and hitting puberty. I really liked the fact that Sarah Crossan didn’t shy away and told us Kasi’s periods starting and her becoming more body conscious it makes it so much more real and relatable.
The bit that I really liked was when Kasienka realised that she had treated a new girl at her school back in Poland just as she was being by the bullies in her school, she wasn’t perfect and she knew it.
This is a brilliant coming of age story that could be classed as middle grade though it has more depth to it as deals with Poverty, bullying, immigration and families
I definitely recommend this book for anyone that wants to read YA,Poetry or contemporary
Overall I rated 4.5 out 5 stars.