As Simple as It Seems

Published by: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Pages: 192
ISBN13: 978-0060846657
Buy the Book: AmazonIndieBound


Verbena Colter knows she’s bad news. Trouble from the get go. How could she not be, with a family like hers? But Verbie doesn’t want to be mean. She wishes she could be somebody, anybody other than who she is. Enter, Pooch, a flatlander boy visiting for the summer. When Pooch and his mother rent the “haunted house” next door, Verbie takes the opportunity to pretend to be someone else entirely. And what starts out as a game leads Verbie into a surprising and heartwarming journey of self-discovery.

Praise and Honors

Summer 2010 Kids’ Indie Next Pick

“Sarah Weeks fans will not be disappointed.”
PW Shelf Talker

“…master storyteller Sarah Weeks brings together a girl, a boy, a lake, a boat, a ghost story, a town band, and a three-legged dog. The coming of age tale that results is repeatedly laugh-out-loud funny. But it is also very revealing…”
Richie’s Picks

Discussion Guide

View the discussion guide for discussion questions and extension activities

Author's Note

I wrote this book with my So B. It fans in mind.  I’ve received many wonderful letters from readers over the years asking if there would be a sequel to Heidi’s story.  Although this is not that sequel, like So B. It, there is mystery, and humor, heartbreak, and resolution and once again a feisty, strong-willed girl at the center of the story.  Her name is Verbena Colter and don’t be fooled by her size --she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

As Simple As It Seems is about Verbena’s search for herself- a search we all face as we enter that confusing thing called puberty. Oh, how I hated that word, puberty when I was twelve years old!   Verbena’s mad at her mom, she’s lost her best friend, and she’s worried that some of the mysterious rumblings she’s been feeling inside lately are something far more sinister than simple growing pains.

I have been asked many times why I chose for the mother in So B. It to be mentally challenged.  Now, with As Simple As It Seems, I anticipate being asked about the reason I decided to make Verbena a girl living with the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  The answer in both cases is the same:  I am drawn to characters who appear on the surface to be limited in some significant way, but who are in fact not limited at all when it comes to the things that really matter in life.  Verbena is a loving daughter, a loyal friend, a forgiving, funny, sweet person who in spite of her small stature has every reason to stand tall.  My hope is that my readers will identify with her, and be inspired to view the challenges in their own lives not as disabilities, or shortcomings, but simply as a part of what makes them who they are.