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Download As Simple as It Seems Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample As Simple as It Seems Audiobook, by Sarah Weeks Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (661 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Weeks Narrator: Rachel Gray Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9780307915283
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    Brian Selznick, author and Caldecott winning illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

  • “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.”

    Avi, Newbery Medal-winning author of Crispin: The Cross of Lead

  • “There are many passages that could jump-start a booktalk and get this into kids’ hands.”

    School Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 2/18/2014

    " There will be plenty of kids who could relate to Verbena. She doesn't like who she is or her background and wants to change herself. When the new kid moves in next door that is her chance to do just that. Overall a nice story, Weeks does have a way with writing to allow readers to feel Verbena's frustration. I wasn't too fond of the ending, but still a good one to recommend to older elementary kids. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim Patton | 2/9/2014

    " Verbena has a troubled life. Her parents are an embarrassment, friends are scarce. When she stumbles upon a life-changing secret, she thinks she is permanently doomed. A new neighbor moves into the house of a girl who died, however, creating the opportunity for Verbena to make a new image for herself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marjorie | 1/29/2014

    " A heartwarming book of growing up, friendship and adventure. Verbena and Pooch are adorable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maya sachs | 1/28/2014

    " sometimes you have to break out of your shell to move forward "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 1/23/2014

    " we read it as a class. Because part of my grade depended on it, I forced my way through the beginning,but then the end was really good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lalala*Saredo* | 1/21/2014

    " lol so far it is a great book.Favorite book for this week.That is how much i liked it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharie | 1/18/2014

    " Strange story yet very much like me as a child. It might be a great window for convesation with a youth who seems to need to 'change' every aspect of life, resulting in the constant lie-ing. Story comes out fine, so great discussion. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Catherine | 1/13/2014

    " This is the first book I've ever read told from the point of view of a child with FAS, but the voice didn't ring true. The voice was an adult female - not that of a child. It just seemed forced. The tense of the book seemed to shift as well. While the story seemed to be told in present time, Verbena often seemed to talk of the experience as looking at it from an adult's point of view. I didn't really like or care about any of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kellee | 1/3/2014

    " A quiet yet strong book that fans of May Amelia and Ida B will enjoy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen Mech | 12/22/2013

    " A great story about what it feels like to grow up. A bit predictable, but probably moreso with all of the foreshadowing added by the author. I will definitely recommend to the ten year old girls in my library. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Harpham | 12/3/2013

    " A very sweet coming of age book-friendship, mother/daughter relationship/fetal alcohol syndrome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katrina Figgett | 11/30/2013

    " Beautifully written book with well drawn characters. I think young children will readily identify with Verbena and her struggle to come to terms with her changing emotions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens | 10/16/2013

    " Huge fan of everything Sarah Weeks. If you loved So B. It, you'll love this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 7/24/2013

    " Great for tween girls freaked out by the early stages of puberty and all the mood swings "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 4/10/2013

    " touches on some hard topics - fetal alcohol syndrome, which the main character, Verbina (such a great character name!) has, adolescent changes, adoption fears... all in a way that's not too overwhelming or deep for the intended audience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Me voir | 12/12/2012

    " Amazing story. So cute and sad. It had me on the edge at some points. I loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Letty | 12/10/2012

    " Read this in two hours on the plane. A quick, fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marianne | 10/26/2012

    " I would give it 3.5 stars. It was a coming of age book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 10/9/2012

    " I think So B. It will always be my favorite, but this was a good book, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 8/31/2012

    " It was a really good book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Toni | 8/18/2012

    " Verbena discovers that her biological parents are not the people who raised her. Between that and losing her best friend, she has a really difficult time. A new boy moves nearby and Verbena keeps on making choices that she wishes she hadn't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karol | 5/24/2012

    " I enjoyed Verbie but didn't see anything that indicated that she was mentally or truly physically impaired as a result of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Mainly, she seemed to be experiencing normal growing up angst. She is tranforming from a kid to a teenager. Her emotions were on target. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 4/12/2012

    " This book is okay. Its is Verbena looking back on the summer of fifth and sixth grade. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen | 1/21/2012

    " Good book about all the things middle age students have to work through in life; and a few extra problems. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellery | 11/25/2011

    " It is a good book because it has a lot of feelings "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 9/1/2011

    " good. much different than I thought it would be "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 7/1/2011

    " Great Book 'thumbs up' :D "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A. Somers | 6/16/2011

    " This was an excellent story about mothers and daughters and about friendship.I have to admit I got all choked up at the end. It was worthy of a tissue or two. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexa | 4/2/2011

    " Slow to start and it seemed loaded with issues in a way that Weeks's books usually aren't. Rather, her books are chock full of issues that are seamlessly integrated. Lots of exposition in this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krystal | 3/18/2011

    " Easy to read & follow the events. Good life lesson about growing up and finding out who you are. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 3/18/2011

    " A quick read and a nice story. Verbena discovers she has FAS and is fearful she may become like other family members who made poor choices. The story takes place during the summer between 5th and 6th grade for Verbena. She realizes she doesn't always have to be perfect to be true to herself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 2/19/2011

    " A great story about what it feels like to grow up. A bit predictable, but probably moreso with all of the foreshadowing added by the author. I will definitely recommend to the ten year old girls in my library. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crystal | 2/12/2011

    " Realistic fiction novel about a girl born with fetal alcohol syndrome. This is the story of a girl going through growing pains as she finds out about her parents' history and tries to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary L. | 2/3/2011

    " A great plot and great characters. Loved how life and death played a part in the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens | 12/20/2010

    " Huge fan of everything Sarah Weeks. If you loved So B. It, you'll love this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee Anne | 12/16/2010

    " Another sweet story by Sarah Weeks, nicely dealing with disabilities. "

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About the Author
Author Sarah Weeks

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.