As Simple as It Seems

As Simple as It Seems

4.3 52
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

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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.

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061999628
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/15/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
194,085
File size:
0 MB
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.”

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