ARC (Advance Reading Copy). First published in the U.K. in 2012. U.S. edition will be released July, 2013 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books. 213 pp. (Includes Glossary).
Kasienka and her Mama immigrate to England from Poland to find her father (Tata). Tata walked away from them and never returned, but her mom is sure she’ll find him. Every day, Mama forces Kasienka to go with her to knock on stranger’s doors, hoping Tata will be behind one of them. Twelve-year-old Kasienka hates the daily, useless routine, and soon begins to hate both Mama and Tata for forcing this life upon her.
Tension builds between Kasienka and her mom, as Mama’s bitterness turns to blame, leaving Kasienka to fend for herself. Facing daily bullying at school, Kasienka escapes to the pool to swim. Her time at the pool, along with her crush on eighth grader William, allows her to face her present, her past, and her future.
“The weight of water” is told in verse, and is a quick read for reluctant readers aged 10-14. It is also a good choice for book clubs as the issues of how immigrants are treated, along with school bullying, are important topics to discuss.