As Simple As It Seems

As Simple As It Seems

4.3 52
by Sarah Weeks

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School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Verbie, 11, is happy with her life in a small town with a best friend and loving parents until she discovers a secret that shakes her world. It turns out that Verbie's real father is her uncle who is in jail for murder, her real mother drank too much when she was pregnant, and Verbie is probably suffering from some of the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. Unable to understand, she begins to act out and yell at her mother who she feels is smothering her with attention. To make matters worse, Verbie's best friend deserts her and she's faced with a lonely summer. Then Pooch and his mother come from the city and rent the house next door for the summer. For some reason, Pooch thinks that Verbie is the ghost of a girl who drowned in a nearby lake and Verbie takes the opportunity to become someone else, at least in the eyes of a nine-year-old boy. It starts out as a game and their unlikely friendship grows, but some dangerous problems arise. Verbie must reach inside herself to cope with them and, in the process, learns much more about herself and her place in the world. Rachel Gray narrates all the characters in Sarah Weeks's novel (HarperCollins, 2010) with slightly different voices, making their emotions sound real. A heartwarming story of self-discovery.—Teresa Wittmann, Westgate Elementary School, Edmonds, WA

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Random House Audio Publishing Group
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