A humorous and resonant novel about a girl growing up without a mother.
I'm assuming I'll turn into a woman someday whether I know anything about being one or not. But being womanly is something you definitely have to learn. Girls probably don't even know they're learning it. But one thing for sure is that it has to come from a mother.
And a mother is one thing I don't have.
Unlike most kids faced with the prospect of having a stepmother, Gabby Weiss isn't the slightest bit resistant to the idea. Gabby wishes her father would hurry up and marry someone who knows more about womanhood than she does, someone who understands her obsession with all that is happening (and, worse, not happening!) to her body. For a while, it seems as though her father's girlfriend, Cleo, might soon be filling the role of mother, but when things fall apart, Gabby has to find her own solution. So she travels to the last place she remembers seeing her mother, searching for a memory. But what she finds is something even better.
I've been keeping a journal now for almost a full year. Actually, I have three journals. One is for dreams, one is for important stuff like this, and one is a list. My list journal is called "Things I Need to Know to Be a Woman."
First I wrote in "woman." Then I crossed that out and wrote in "girl." Then I crossed that out and wrote in "woman" again. I still can't decide.
I'm assuming I'll turn into a woman someday whether I know anything about being one or not. I think Amber Whitman already has, because every month she goes to the nurse with a mysterious stomachache. We learned all about that in health, and everyone saw the movie. So Amber's not fooling anyone.
But being like a girl (or womanly or girlish or feminine, whatever you want to call it) is something you definitely have to learn.
Girls probably don't even know they're learning it. It just gets absorbed into them while they are sleeping. But on this ...
Written as a first person narrative from the perspective of Gabby, a twelve year old girl, What Every Girl, Except Me, Knows combines a touching story of preteen friendship with the mystery and guilt surrounding the death of Gabby's mother when she was 3 years old; and the effect it still holds over Gabby, her elder brother and father, and how, due to Gabby's initiative, they eventually come to terms with the loss. Highly recommended for ages 10+.
If you liked What Every Girl (Except Me) Knows, try these:
A well-written story written in a pitch-perfect teenage voice. D. J. Schwenk is an unforgettable character: A football-loving 15-year-old who takes over running her family's small Wisconsin dairy farm when her dad is injured. Like the rest of her family, she is not much of a talker - but when she meets Brian, a snooty quarterback assigned to her...
A funny, touching, revealing story written entirely in the form of letters, messages, postcards - and bizarre missives. Hilariously candid, shows that the roller coaster ride of being a teenager is every bit as fun as we remember--and every bit as harrowing.
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