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Water Balloon

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 10, 2011 – Picture-book author Vernick (Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums) delivers her first novel, a well-paced coming-of-age story that offers a realistic depiction of growing pains. Marley's summer before eighth grade is looking pretty disastrous. With her parents recently separated, Marley will be living with her father while her mother is away, first on a road trip and then helping care for Marley's grandmother. Isolation creeps in when Marley discovers that her father has no Internet service; her two theater-camp obsessed best friends have no time for her; and, worst of all, she's forced into a job babysitting feisty five-year-old twins. Trying to reconnect with her friends, she pulls a favorite prank involving water balloons at an inopportune moment. But the family dog, a new neighbor (a friendly guy with "smart eyes, a strange light blue"), and even the twins help Marley adapt to all of the sudden changes in her world. Vernick conveys Marley's uncertain navigation of new experiences and conflicting emotions with sincerity and keen perception. Ages 9 12.

Customer Reviews


I loved this book!!! I totally recommend reading this book. I loved the ending:)

Water Balloon
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 5-7
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Coming of Age
  • Published: May 06, 2014
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings