Summary and book reviews of What Every Girl (Except Me) Knows by Nora Raleigh Baskin

What Every Girl (Except Me) Knows

by Nora Raleigh Baskin

What Every Girl (Except Me) Knows
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2001, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2002, 224 pages

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About this Book

Book Summary

A humorous and resonant novel about a girl growing up without a mother, of preteen friendships and the necessity of coming to terms with a loss before being able to move on with one's life. Ages 10+

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.

Chapter 1

My Journal

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 ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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+.  

Media Reviews

School Library Journal

....an engrossing coming-of-age story peopled with characters about whom it is easy to care, and Ian's empathy when he realizes his sister's needs is beautifully developed. This is a fine novel that offers a perceptive and positive look at dealing with loss.

Kirkus Reviews

The sympathetic protagonist has reality and dimension and readers should be squarely in her corner as she goes through the difficult process of becoming a young woman...

Publishers Weekly

...bittersweet, emotionally complex first novel...a keen understanding of pubescent concerns...

Booklist

This first novel is a mystery about a young person's search for the truth about a parent long dead. It is also a gripping coming-of-age story.

Reader Reviews

Valerie

Awesome!!
This was such a good book!! I want to read it again but I cant find it anywhere!! It's one of my fave's!!

Alison Miller

Alison Miller
I think this was a very interesting and exciting book. I was shocked to find myself never wanting to put it down. This book is so unique because I really feel that I could connect with some of the things the main character was going through. I would...   Read More

Bella

A very good book for girls growing up
My daughter has read this book and loved it! It is truly a great book and this is true!!!

olivia

bombage
I really enjoyed this book because it expresses Gabby's feelings. And every girl HAS to go through this in there life

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