Book Review: The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan The Weight of Water (9781599909677): Crossan, Sarah: Books

Title: The Weight of Water

Author: Sarah Crossan

Genre: Middle Grade/ Books in Verse

Number of Pages: 240

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes

The Weight of Water wasn’t my favorite of the books I’ve read by Sarah Crossan, but I found it a touching story with enough cross-over appeal to be enjoyed by kids and adults. The story opens with an Polish girl named Kasienka who immigrates to England with her mother, who hopes to find Kasienka’s runaway father and bring him back. Her mom’s plan doesn’t work out, and they end up living in a dive motel while Kasienka goes to public school in an unfamiliar country.

Initially she’s shy and fearful, quickly becoming a victim of bullies who make fun of her appearance and unfamiliar cultural practices. Over the course of the story, however, the reader gets to see Kasienka begin to come into her own as she finds allies in unexpected places and joins a competitive swim team. This story benefits from a sympathetic young lead and does a commendable job of putting readers in the shoes of a young immigrant pulled away from everything she’s ever known.

The side characters were fairly one-dimensional and I wasn’t sure if the author wanted me to empathize with the protagonist’s mother or not. I think we were supposed to make allowances because of the difficult situation she was in, but to me she came off as both psychologically abusive and negligent towards her daughter. I wish there had been more examination of the toxic mother-daughter relationship, but like Sarah Crossan’s other books I enjoyed this and I think it was worth the read.