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Water Balloon Hardcover – September 6, 2011
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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
"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)
“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
"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
Top Customer Reviews
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).
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.
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I absolutely loved this book!
A good summer reading book!
Very emotional happy sad angry excited
Great book!! <3
These days, a quiet novel is a risk. Cell phones, television shows, video games, and the sort, are constantly competing for everyone’s attention. Read morePublished on July 23, 2014 by NebraskaIcebergs
The book in middle and beginning was very slow, and I don't like all of the babysitting scenes but I fell in love with Jack, all in all I would read this book five times more, and... Read morePublished on February 28, 2014 by Farah Pavri
Water Balloon is very emotional and very realistic, and even when Marley is at her worst, sometimes even acting like a brat, I still understood her and rooted for her. Read morePublished on October 18, 2012 by flamingo1325
So sweet and insightful that it made me remember what it felt like to be Marley's age. If you're buying a book for a middle-grade girl, it's an excellent choice.Published on March 13, 2012 by Amy Hearth
As is fitting for a coming-of-age story, Marley`s life is turning upside down. Her parents are separated, her best friends are totally involved in drama camp and making new... Read morePublished on February 5, 2012 by Jennifer Donovan
Marley is having a rough summer already and it's only the beginning. Her parents are getting a divorce and living apart. Read morePublished on November 7, 2011 by K. Groh