As Simple as It Seems

As Simple as It Seems

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060846657
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/13/2011
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 190,425
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Sarah Weeks has written more than fifty books for young readers. Some of her picture books include Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash, Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth!, and Glamourpuss. Her bestselling novel, So B. It, is a feature-length film starring Alfre Woodard and Talitha Bateman. Ms. Weeks visits thousands of students in elementary and middle schools across the country every year. She is also an adjunct professor in the prestigious MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the New School. Sarah lives in Nyack, New York, with her husband, Jim Fyfe, and their dog, Mia. You can visit her online at

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.”

Customer Reviews

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As Simple as It Seems 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 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.
kimpiddington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Verbena and Pooch are endearing characters, kids will love them!
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Verbena Ellen Colter isn't who she thought she was. Her kind, slightly goofy (and embarrassing) parents have kept an explosive family secret from her up until now, and suddenly her mood swings and angry rages are taking on a new, darker tone (at least in her mind). The real reason she is different from other children is that Verbena was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which affects the way she looks, how she grows, and how she learns and behaves. On top of that revelation, she's lost her best friend Annie to popular Heather, and Verbie feels like she's going to be alone forever without her. While wandering over the summer, she meets Robert (nicknamed "Pooch" by his mother's latest boyfriend) when he and his mom rent the old Allen house for the summer. Robert mistakes her for the ghost of Tracy Allen, who drowned years ago, and Verbena decides to try out being someone else -- even if it's a dead someone else. But as Verbena learns, even dead people have problems, and sometimes you have to be a real live person with real live courage. Excellent writing and storytelling, and characters you will love! 6th grade and up.