Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $3.62 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Water Balloon has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: FREE TRACKING ON ALL ORDERS! Support Your Planet. Buy CLEAN EARTH BOOKS. Shipping orders swiftly since 2008. This is a nearly new book with a 100% Money Back Guarantee. Our customer service can't be beat! Tracking included on all orders.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Water Balloon Hardcover – September 6, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$13.37
$1.32 $0.01
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Up to 50% off select Teen and YA books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
$13.37 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Water Balloon
  • +
  • Screaming at the Ump
Total price: $27.75
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A warm debut novel about friendship and first love, from a popular picture-book author.

Marley’s life is as precarious as an overfull water balloon—one false move and everything will burst. Her best friends are pulling away from her, and her parents, newly separated, have decided she should spend the summer with her dad in his new house, with a job she didn’t ask for and certainly doesn’t want. On the upside is a cute boy who loves dogs as much as Marley does . . . but young love has lots of opportunity for humiliation and misinterpreted signals. Luckily Marley is a girl who trusts her instincts and knows the truth when she sees it, making her an immensely appealing character and her story funny, heartfelt, and emotionally true.


A Note from the Author

Dear Amazon Readers:

Years ago, when I started to write Water Balloon, my first novel, I thought a lot about the books I loved most as a young reader (which are not very different from the books I love most as an adult reader).

In books and movies, I appreciate nothing more than a chance to get to know a character well. The best of them tend to linger—I think about them long after I finish reading.

They may have lived at different times, have different pastimes—like spying on their New York City neighbors or inventing a secret language or learning how to function in the parentless world of boarding school—but at their core, the characters I love best are people I understand and care about, sometimes very deeply.

There are all kinds of writers, and luckily, there are all kinds of readers, too. The books I write will all strive to deliver that kind of character connection. I hope that for some young reader, Marley Baird will be the friend she would wish alive if she could.

Most publishers frown upon books in which nothing happens, so I knew I needed to give Marley some things to do. And she’s juggling a lot: dealing with her parents’ recent separation, surviving an extremely challenging summer job, getting used to living with her father (who always seemed more spectator than parent), and wondering if her forever best friends are leaving her and their childhood traditions behind.

In other words, stuff happens.

My books will never have last-minute helicopter rescue scenes. Or vampires. No magic potions to magically fix everything on the second-to-last page. No explosions, either.

Unless you consider a bursting water balloon to be an explosion. Then, it turns out, I have, in fact, written a book with a number of explosions.

Life is full of surprises. Kind of like the books we love best.

Happy reading.

--Audrey Vernick

Review

Vernick makes a very auspicious fiction debut with her breezy, briskly paced tale, well-portrayed characters, authentic relationships and keen ear for realistic dialogue. The sweet, swoony young romance doesn't hurt either. Preteen female readers will eat this up and learn a wise and wistful thing or two about friendships. -Kirkus Reviews

"Vernick resembles Frances O'Roark Dowell and Rachel Vail in her ability to bring keen understanding and tender sympathy to the ordinary. Kids struggling with the challenges of identifying what changes are necessary and paying the price for those thrust upon them will be glad to see an author who gets it." -- BCCB (starred review)

* "Kids struggling with the challenges of identifying what changes are necessary and paying the price for those thrust upon them will be glad to see an author who gets it." —Bulletin, starred review
 
“An achingly honest story about love, family, friends, and non-friends. (Spoiler alert: There's also an adorable boy with sky blue eyes . . . )”—Lauren Myracle, New York Times best-selling author of ttyl and Shine

“Vernick's writing is beautiful, her characters well-rounded and believable, and the coming of age situations and emotions are spot on.”—Kathryn Erskine, author of the National Book Award winner Mockingbird
 
“Tender and true, anchored by heartbreak and buoyed by love, Water Balloon is a sweet summertime celebration of the unforgettable moments that change everything. ”—Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times bestselling-author of Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed
 
“A funny, poignant, beautifully written story about family, first love, and the joy and pain of girls’ friendships, reminiscent of Lynne Rae Perkins’ All Alone in the Universe. I was really caught up in the world Vernick created; in Marley's own words, ‘it is amazingly, fantastically real.’ I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!”—Joanne Rocklin, author of One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street
 
“Tweens will relate to this heartfelt story of a girl who is struggling to navigate the many changes in her life that seem to greet her at every turn.”—Lisa Schroeder, author of It’s Raining Cupcakes
 
“Marley Baird is a lovely protagonist with an engaging voice, and readers will wish they could be her best friend and help her cope with all of life’s uncertainty, aggravation, and heartache.  They will recognize their own struggles in Marley’s and cheer her on as she finds her way.”—Gina Willner-Pardo, author of  The Hard Kind of Promise
 
Water Balloon is breathtakingly luminous. From the start, readers will root for Marley, an unforgettable and authentic heroine; we *know* this girl, our heart breaks with hers, we laugh with her, and we want to be her friend for life. Vernick's lyrical and astonishingly perceptive prose tells this captivating story of friendship, love, and resilience with honesty, grace, and power. This book is the real thing—I want to hug it daily!”—Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of 8th Grade Superzero
 
“Vernick makes a very auspicious fiction debut here with her breezy, briskly paced tale, well-portrayed characters, authentic relationships and keen ear for realistic dialogue. . . . preteen female readers will eat this up and learn a wise and wistful thing or two about friendships, including when and how to walk away and start new ones. . . . a harbinger of more good novels to come from this author.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Put this book on your "must-have" list. It won’t stay on the shelves long."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Vernick conveys Marley's uncertain navigation of new experiences and conflicting emotions with sincerity and keen perception."—Publishers Weekly

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547595549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547595542
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,312,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lori Katz on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marley's parents are separated and she is spending the summer with her dad in his new house. Since money is tight he takes on summer jobs gardening( he is a teacher during the school year) and gets Marley a job babysitting twin 5 year-olds. Her two BFF's begin excluding her from their lives and her mother doesn't answer her phone when Marley calls. The twins are a handful and it is interesting to see Marley use her own life experiences to entertain them, help them deal with their 5 year-old issues and ultimately come to enjoy their company. The friendship/budding romance between Jack and Marley is innocent and sweet. My favorite part though is Marley realizing just how poorly her BFF's treated her and that maybe it is time for new friends.

In Water Balloon the author explores friendships among young girls, the relationship between a daughter and her father, dandelions, babysitting, and first crush. Audrey Vernick does a great job in all aspects in this easy reading story for middle grade girls. Recommended for fans of contemporary fiction and girls asking for romance-- spoiler alert--

(there is hand-holding and kIssing near the end).
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
A Kid's Review on September 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a twelve year old girl, I found this book fantastic and enjoyed reading every second of it! I couldn't put it down! I loved how I could understand everything Marley was feeling because of the amazing detail in which the author wrote it. I found myself falling in love with all of the characters including Marley, Jack, Grace, Faith, and even Rig! I couldn't have asked for a more humorous, make you feel good book and I am very happy I read Water Balloon and I DEFINITELY recommend this book!
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Marley's parents are separated, and she's staying with her father for the summer. She has no internet service. Worse, she gets "volunteered" to babysit the young daughters of her dad's new ladyfriend. Worst of all, she and her two best friends are growing apart...as they try to act more "grown-up" and consequently find Marley's supposed immaturity embarrassing.

Author Audrey Vernick does a great job of drawing the reader into the story. I felt the same frustration and disappointment that Marley was feeling as she tried to make the best of her circumstances. I found Marley to be a very sympathetic character, yet she's portrayed realistically with her own flaws, as well. The entire story is portrayed honestly and realistically, in fact, including the absence of a perfect fairy tale ending. Marley learns a lot, and is the better for it, but as in real life, her problems are not all neatly resolved by the end of the book.

As YA novels go, this one is top notch. Highly recommended for middle-school age girls, or really anyone who enjoys heartfelt coming-of-age stories.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
What happened to everything I thought was constant? For Marley, the weight of this question is heavy, like a water balloon on the verge of explosion. In her fabulous debut middle-grade novel, WATER BALLOON, acclaimed author Audrey Vernick takes us straight into the heart of 13 year-old Marley Baird. Her parents have separated and, as if that isn't enough to disrupt the universe, Marley is forced to spend her summer living with her dad and stuck babysitting for high-maintenance 5 year-old twins. If she had her two best friends to spend her downtime with, the summer might be bearable. But her friends are pulling away, making plans and trying new things without her. Vernick is a master of middle-grade voice and characterization. I rooted for Marley. I cried for her. I totally bought into her blossoming feelings of first love. I knew her. The author balances out Marley's sense of confusion and heartbreak with a keen sense of humor, most evident in the snappy dialogue exchanges between Marley and the twins, and in the scenes of Marley with her adorable dog, Rig. What a wonderful read! WATER BALLOON is a big burst of fabulous fiction.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
A Kid's Review on September 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I love books that make you laugh out loud. This one does, a bunch of times. It also made me cry. That's solid.

There's a lot going on in Water Balloon--Marley's parents are separated and she's learning how to live with her dad for the summer. She's interested in a boy that lives near her dad. She got a job babysitting twins (who made me laugh a lot). But I think my favorite part was kind of the hardest part.

Things are getting tough with her two best friends. I felt bad for Marley, but I also really liked how real and true the writer made this part. There wasn't any fake seeming magic answer. She was just living through hard days with things all out of wack with friends. What I liked best about this book, all of this book is that it seemed so real.

Recommended to everyone. Well, maybe not boys. I don't know if any boys would get it or even like reading it. I think almost every girl would.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
A Kid's Review on October 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes you read a book and think this character is just like me! Which is weird because I don't even have that much in common with Marley Baird. But I get her. She feels real and true and someone I wish I could know.

She's having a hard time with her long time best friends Leah and Jane. She has a babysitting job she hates. She can't get used to living with her father and she has to, because her mom went away. Her parents got seperated a while ago and Marley's spending most of the summer with her dad, even though it doesn't feel right. There are times when Marley feels like she doesn't have a friend in the world other than her dog Rig.

Even though the book shows Marley living through a really hard time,it made me laugh a lot.

I don't know if there will be a sequel but I really hope so!
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Water Balloon
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Water Balloon

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?