1. The weight of water
I found this book by pure accident and magic.
I was dead set on writing a paper about a children’s book writing about Eastern-European immigrants. We’re not too well represented, except for historical books about WW II. But I wanted something modern, something I could resonate with. I spent an afternoon in the university library, looking for books like that. Found nothing.
I’ll figure out something, I tried to reassure myself. Maybe tomorrow. Let’s forget about the whole thing and read for pleasure. I started taking down books for the shelf, purely based on their covers.
I checked out and set on the top floor of the double-decker. Opened The weight of water and after a few pages in, I was crying. This was exactly the book I’d been looking for.
I found it by accident. Or was it the peculiar magic of libraries?
I wrote my paper on it, even did a talk on it in a conference at Bath University.
I finished it about ten minutes ago and that’s what gave me the idea for this list. I’ll be honest, when I read the blurb I was only mildly interested, but I got it as a present so I dived in. I hadn’t expected to enjoy it more than One. Yet, you see it knocked it out from steady second place. It’s not happy book. It talks about abusive parents, asshole children, running away from home and dementia.
It’s not a big surprise though, Sarah Crossan rarely (if ever?) writes sunshine-happy books, but even in the greyness and sometimes downright hopelessness she manages to find moments that are beautiful.
Stupidly enough I didn’t write a review of this one and now I don’t remember… Well done me. Maybe it also shows that Toffee deserved to place second though. What I know is that I read One in one or two days and I was really involved in the story. I also loved the colours of the cover.
4. Apple & Rain
I read it a long time ago, when I was still in uni and a member of Roehampton Readers, a shadowing group for the Carneige & Kate Greenway Children’s Books Awards as a shadowing group. What I remember from the book 4 years in retrospect is that although I liked it, I felt a bit disappointed. I think it is also due to the fact that The weight of water had charmed me so much that anything that came afterwards had a very hard job to impress me.
You can read my detailed review here.
I only discovered the existence of Moonrise and We Come Apart, but I will do my best to catch up on my Sarah Crossan reading and I might revisit this list.
I did start Breathe which is a YA dystopia, but I abandoned it after a few chapters, it annoyed me. I think Crossan really found her voice with the free verse poetry, Breathe and Resist were just all the words she needed to get out before she could get there.
Have you read any Sarah Crossan books? Which ones were your favourites?