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As Simple as It Seems

( 52 )

Overview

Verbena Colter knows she’s bad news.

Trouble from the get-go. How could she not be, with parents like hers? Her mother practically pickled her before she was even born, leaving Verbie to struggle with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. And her father was just plain mean. Verbie wishes she could be somebody, anybody other than who she is. Enter Pooch, a flatlander boy visiting for the summer. When Pooch and his mom rent the house next door, Verbie takes the opportunity to be ...

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As Simple as It Seems

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Overview

Verbena Colter knows she’s bad news.

Trouble from the get-go. How could she not be, with parents like hers? Her mother practically pickled her before she was even born, leaving Verbie to struggle with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. And her father was just plain mean. Verbie wishes she could be somebody, anybody other than who she is. Enter Pooch, a flatlander boy visiting for the summer. When Pooch and his mom rent the house next door, Verbie takes the opportunity to be someone else entirely. And what starts out as a game leads Verbie into a surprising and heartwarming journey of self-discovery.

Another gem from the author of So B. It.

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Editorial Reviews

Brian Selznick
“Life and death weave together in strange ways one summer for twelve year old Verbena Colter. Sarah Weeks tells her story with warmth, grace, and deep compassion. A stunning novel about life’s many complications and how we struggle to grow up, into ourselves.”
Pam Munoz Ryan
“Verbena is a character you will not want to leave. An endearing story, heartfelt, and buoyant.”
Newbery Medal-winning author of CRISPIN: THE C Avi
“Young readers will recognize their struggles to grow and understand their own lives, while laughing, and crying along the way. Nothing simple here; just fine writing.”
Newbery Medal-winning author of CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD - Avi
"Young readers will recognize their struggles to grow and understand their own lives, while laughing, and crying along the way. Nothing simple here; just fine writing."
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
Twelve-year-old Verbena Colter has recently found out that she is adopted; to make matters worse, her biological father is in prison and her bio-mom was an alcoholic and drank throughout her pregnancy. Verbena now knows why she has troubles learning and why she has been acting out so much with her family and friends—she has fetal alcohol syndrome. During that summer, Verbena meets Pooch, a younger boy whose mother is renting a house close to the Colters; the house has a reputation—a young girl died in the pond by the house—and Verbena decides to make that story her own, and so presents herself to Pooch as the ghost of Tracy Allen. But as the summer and her adventures with Pooch unfold, Verbena begins to realize that who she is is pretty special and that the person she will be in life will have more to do with her own choices and the support of her parents than it will the poor choices of her biological parents. This book is one of the first to deal with children struggling with fetal alcohol syndrome from their perspective and should appeal to younger female readers looking for a sweet book about growing up. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Verbena's fifth-grade year has been miserable. She feels mean, moody, and self-conscious but doesn't know why. When she stumbles onto the fact that she is adopted and that her birth father is incarcerated for murder, she decides that the obvious explanation is that she takes after him. She also learns that she was exposed fetally to alcohol, which explains her small size and learning problems. She finds a diversion when she meets Pooch, a boy vacationing in her small town in the Catskills, and convinces him she's a ghost. In the aftermath of a crisis that puts Pooch's life in jeopardy, Verbie begins to repair her relationship with her mother and to come to terms with who she is as a person. Children who have suddenly noticed that their parents are the most embarrassing people on earth; who have been unable to keep from saying awful, hurtful things; or just realized that life isn't as simple as it once seemed will relate to Verbie's emotional discomfort. The other aspects of her life, including no mention of cell phones and the like, may seem less familiar. Pooch is likable, self-sufficient due to minimal parenting, and yet responsive to nurturing. The ending wraps things up a little too neatly, but all readers, at times, need reassurance that the difficult periods in life will pass. Despite the girly cover, there are many passages that could jump-start a booktalk and get this into kids' hands.—Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060846657
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 85,607
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Weeks is an author, singer, and songwriter. Her many books for young readers include the My First I Can Read Book Splish, Splash!, illustrated by Ashley Wolff, and the I Can Read Books Mac and Cheese, Baa-Choo!, Pip Squeak, and Drip, Drop, all illustrated by Jane Manning. She lives in upstate New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2011

    fantastic

    i am 11 years old and i couldn't let go of this book. It is faith-lifting and inspiring to know that just because your mom and dad arent your real parents doesnt mean your not loved and to show that different people can change your life forever. It is an inspiring book. I think people can relate to Verbena and her problems.

    22 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    Amazing one of the best authors in the world in my opinion:)

    Me being only twelve years old it is hard for me to find a book that i will actually read and not get bored of a few chapters into the book. Well if you are anthing like me you will love this book. Not only is this an amazing book but she is an amazing author. I also fell in love and still is in love with her other book called so b it. I highly recomend these books:) hope you will like them as much as i did!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Great Book !

    An inspiring book that so many can relate to. Sometimes we all wish we were someone else. I could not put it down! I strongly recommend this to any reader. This book just goes to show that no matter what people in the past have done, you don't have to let it effect you. As Verbie realizes in this book, family isn't who is related to you, but who loves you

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Good

    This book is amazing. I can't say anything bad about this book. It is good for the ages of 10-12. Sarah Weeks did a great job with this book.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Okay, this was cute . I'm not big on middle grade novels

    Okay, this was <i>cute</i>
    .

    I'm not big on middle grade novels - they're usually too short for my liking - but when I'm sick, I like to read something that doesn't involve much thinking and that is rather adorable. <i>As Simple As It Seems</i>
    delivered on those counts.

    There's not much to any of the characters - Weeks does her best to make them deep, given the length of the book - but the main characters, Verbie and Pooch, were adorable. They made me giggle and some of the things they said I laughed out loud at and just had to repeat to myself.

    As for the plot - well, it's not too difficult to figure out what happens, even if you are younger. (It's spelled out for you.) The story itself was cute, though, and has a good lesson that goes with it.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Yes!!!!!

    Okay...ill be honest... i cried...:') but u should still read it. If you cry..that just means the book means more and u comprehend it all into the vivid pictures in your mind. If u havent read this yet, READ NOW!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    Touching

    I thought this book is well written and it really made me think how lucky i am to be where i am today

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Book

    Very good book.READ IT

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sweet Story of a Young Girl Trying to Find Herself

    Twelve-year-old Verbena Colter, thinks her life is pretty simple - until she finds out it's not: Her parents aren't really her parents. Her best friend ditches her for a new friend. And her emotions are suddenly very negative and difficult to control. It looks like Verbena's life is spiraling downward until a young boy, nicknamed Pooch, moves into a nearby rental house. The two strike up an unusual friendship, and eventually Verbena learns that while life isn't simple and perfect, it's still good.

    As Simple as It Seems is a poignant tale of self-discovery. Verbena is a character with flaws, but at the same time, she is likeable. Since the story is told from a first person point of view, readers can really see what's going on inside Verbena's head as she struggles through her issues.

    Verbena's story will resonate with young girls in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, who may find themselves struggling with friend and hormone issues. As Simple as It Seems is a nice read for kids in that age group.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2014

    Heartwarming

    I rate it a four because it wasnt my absouloute favorute book but it was still very good. I totally reccomend anyone to read thus beautifully written book by sarah weeks. It is so very wonderful indeed. I love thus book and im sure yiu that is reading this will too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Cute Inspiring Story by Sarah Weeks I enjoyed the book As Simple

    Cute Inspiring Story by Sarah Weeks
    I enjoyed the book As Simple as it Seems by Sarah Weeks. Out of 5 stars, I would give it 4. I would give it 4 stars because the whole time I was reading I was interested. My favorite character was the main character, Verbena, a girl that finds out she’s adopted and then ends up meeting and becoming best friends with the new boy that just moved in. One of biggest reasons I liked this book was because it could really relate to girls, or even boys, that are adopted or confused about their feelings. When Verbena finds out the truth, she turns into a very angry person, and she gets short tempered. In addition to that, another thing I liked about this book was how new things were always happening. For example, I would have never thought that she was going to find out she was adopted or meet a new boy who at first believed she was a ghost. Another reason I enjoyed this book was it was a touching story. Even though Verbena found out she was adopted and thought her life was annoying and boring, she realized that he parents did love her, and her life really wasn’t that bad. Over all, I think this book was pretty good, and I would recommend it for people around the ages 11-13. It was a relatable book and a cute story. 
    HaileyCHMS14

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    great book even though it made me cry

    I love how this book was written

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Awesome Book!!!!!!!

    I lllloooovvvveeee this book!!! When you feel the same way, it is so easy to relate to. I read So B. It and was trying to find more books by Sarah Weeks. Then I found this book and couldn't stop reading it. It was so heart-warming and I wanted Pooch and Verbie to fall in love and be boyfriend-girlfriend. You have to read this book!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Book

    1 of the BEST books I have read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    As Simple as it Seems

    Really good book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    As simple as it seems

    I just got this book from book fair and its great
    Just started it seems somewhat sad talking about her family's history.
    I really do feel bad for her.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    As simple as utd T. Book

    Amazing book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Anonumus

    This book was pretty good! I liked it a lot! I read it in 4th grade, but I still love it! :)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Looooooove it!

    This in my opionion is one of my favorite authors! I am not finished yet but i loove sara week's books.i never really read anyway because im twelve years old and i can never find a good book. I ooved so b it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Anonymous

    I read this book and absolutly positively loved it.It makes you think that there is nothing better than being in your own skin. And even though life might stink like stinky frito smelling socks at some points people that love you can turn that around. Well if you let them!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews

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