As Simple as It Seems

As Simple as It Seems

4.4 53
by Sarah Weeks
     
 

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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

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.

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 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."
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.”
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061999628
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/15/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
403,190
File size:
290 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

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.”

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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As Simple as It Seems 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Kaiya Daniels More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book is well written and it really made me think how lucky i am to be where i am today
SherryE More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how this book was written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1 of the BEST books I have read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book! Shows and takes you into a teens world and lets you understand the ups and downs of being unquie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 11 and i read this book 23 times in 6 months( ive read other books imbettween that time frame) and i love it. My friend let me " borrow" it but i stole it from her so i can read it.i love this bok and you all should read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great book! I jut could not put it down. Its a great it has a imporant meaning to. There is alot of them. But one of them, is to love who you are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great!!! Loved how Sarah Weeks wrote this book! All stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down and it so good it is sweet and toches ur heart and it for any one 10 to 100 its a good book for u and im in 6th gade and i love it and u will to
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG! This book is soo good i cant put it down! I cant be leave that the mother did that! You have to get this book! It will make you sad but its just like the book "Why Me" except its not child abuse i recomend this book for 5th grade and up im obly in the fifth grade and my teacher has it in the classroom library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book sooooo much! Best book ever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is heart warming and it is as simple as it seem s.But let me tell you somthing you have to read intell the last two chapters and then it is simple as it seems.