All We Know Of Love by Nora Raleigh BaskinAll We Know Of Love by Nora Raleigh Baskin

All We Know Of Love

byNora Raleigh Baskin

Paperback | January 22, 2013

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A boldly original tale about a girl who journeys through love and loss to find her mother — and discovers that everyone has a story to tell, including herself.

"I used to think that a person would not know who I was, not really know me, until they heard about my mother."

Four years, four months, and fifteen days ago, Natalie Gordon's mother walked out mid-sentence, before she finished what she was going to say. Now Natalie is traveling twenty-four hours on a bus to Florida to find her mother, to find herself, to find out something about love. Along the way, Natalie struggles to understand her relationship with Adam, a boy she pines for with near-obsession, and to her surprise, she meets people with stories like her own, stories about giving love and getting lost in the desire to be wanted. Acclaimed middle-grade novelist Nora Raleigh Baskin makes her young adult debut with a deeply resonant novel about secrets held and secrets shared, about having the courage to uncover all we know — and don’t know — of love.
Nora Raleigh Baskin is the author of WHAT EVERY GIRL (EXCEPT ME) KNOWS, a Publishers Weekly Cuffie Award winner for Most Promising New Author, among other popular middle-grade novels. She lives in Weston, Connecticut.
Title:All We Know Of LoveFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.73 × 7.05 × 0.59 inPublished:January 22, 2013Publisher:Candlewick PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0763666505

ISBN - 13:9780763666507


Read from the Book

My mother was telling me something just before she left for good, taking nothing with her (as far as we could tell). Leaving behind everything she had ever bought, everything she had ever wanted, everything she owned or had ever been given.And everything she had made: a lopsided clay bowl with the image of a tiny painted pineapple from her ceramic workshop days, a collage of family pictures cut in various sizes and shapes, pasted together and framed. She spent weeks on that. All the pressed wildflowers she had collected and laminated between sheets of clear plastic to last forever. And me. Me, she left behind.She walked out mid-sentence, before she finished what she was about to say.It was a long time ago already, four years. Four years, four months, and fifteen days to be exact. And for four years, four months, and twelve days, I didn't think for one second about what she never finished telling me. I gave no thought at all to her unfinished sentence. I suppose it is like being in a car accident. You don’t think about something as trivial as the conversation you were having at the moment of impact. Not until weeks later, if at all. It comes to you in daydream one day as you are remembering the crash, that awful crumbling-metal noise, and if you begin to reconstruct the instant at all, it may not be for months, or in my case, years.At first all I cared about was that she was gone. I wrote her letters. I made her Mother's Day gifts. When she had been gone sixteen months and seven days, I sewed her an orange dinosaur pillow in FACs class. I cried at night, and at sad TV shows, and, for some unknown reason, during first-aid filmstrips shown in gym class on rainy days. And then I stopped.Because all things need to come to an end. Good things and bad things.But then just recently I started to remember and I began to reconstruct. And wonder: if only I had let her say what it was she was about to tell me, would everything have been different? Would I be in this situation? My mother stopped mid-sentence. She was in mid-thought, about to tell me something.She was talking about love.At the Stamford bus station, there is a little newsstand with chips and candy and gum, stuff like that. I should load up on snacks, I am thinking. I don't have anything I am going to need, except money, and not that much of that. The ticket was a hundred and twenty-six dollars, one way. When I called a few days ago to get the schedule, I found out how expensive the trip would be, and how long it would take. Twenty-four hours on a bus. I can't imagine that. I'll need some stuff to eat and drink, I guess. I should have made myself something at home, a sandwich or two, but I didn't think of it.It's early. Way early, especially for a Saturday morning. It's not even seven thirty. And this kid working behind the newsstand isn't paying attention; he's reading a book. I've been standing here for a while. Sometimes the world reminds me of how invisible I am.My dad tells me it's because my voice is too quiet, even when I'm shouting. He says it's loud enough, but the timbre's too soft, as if it were at a different frequency, like there's something wrong with it and nobody hears me."Excuse me," I say again, a second time. The boy who works at this newsstand is at that age. Not young, not old, so I don’t know how to address him, to get his attention. Mister? Kid?Hey, you seems rude."Hello there," I try. "Sir?"Sir?How stupid is that?He looks up and smiles, like I just made a joke, when joking is the furthest thing from my mind. He is annoying me already. "What can I get you?" he says. He lowers his book. I see he is wearing an orange T-shirt so faded its softness is almost visible. He hikes his jeans up over his skinny hips as he steps up to the counter. I see he is wearing a rope necklace around his neck, with one white shell that sits right in that spot, that little dip in a boy's neck that always seems a little too intimate to be looking at."Um . . . I’m not sure," I say, looking over everything, which all looks really unhealthy and fairly sickening."Stuff for your trip?" he asks me."Yeah." I nod. My trip."Where are you going?"And when he asks me that, I know I am going to lie even before I open my mouth. Like I am trying it on for size, testing out my abilities."North Dakota," I say."North Dakota, huh?" He smiles.This guy is flirting with me, I think. I used to like this, but ever since Adam flirting has taken on a whole new meaning. In a way, it's like I know what it means now. I know what can happen, and I don’t know what I want from it anymore."That’s a pretty long trip," he says.I want to smile back, but suddenly I feel a wave of nausea. Maybe from looking at the candy, or from this older man, who comes up beside me and reeks of cigarettes. Or maybe it's something else entirely thatscares me even more."Forget it," I say quickly to the boy. "I don’t want anything."And I hurry away.At least this is one of those big buses, the kind you get for really long, expensive school field trips. The kind with upholstered seats and little TV screens every few rows. But the screens are blank. So far the seat next to me is empty. I am doing a silent prayer that it stays this way all the way to Florida.

Editorial Reviews

Teens will wonder at this unusual, fascinating examination of human intersection.—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)Candid and alluring.—Publishers WeeklyA well-crafted coming-of-age story.—VOYANatalie encounters a variety of people with whom she briefly interacts, but who leave an impression on her. Their stories are inserted into the narrative as cameos, and she comes to understand that she can be loved for who she is—and not because she was a girl whose mother did not love her enough to stay. A moving coming-of-age story.—School Library JournalThis sad but ultimately satisfying journey is well written and interspersed with familiar quotations about love. The simple lesson that Natalie begins to learn…that she must love herself first, before anyone else can love her back—is a lesson for all readers to absorb and understand.—BooklistNatalie’s navel-gazing is wise, lyrical, and familiar to the point of affirmation; readers will find their own experiences and emotions mirrored and amplified.—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s BooksA compelling narrative about the need for understanding and love.—Confessions of a Bibliovore blogNora Raleigh Baskin jumpstarts the drama on page one, propelling the reader through until the very end.—Teenreads.comAll We Know of Love is an exciting treasure—ALAN’s PicksNora Baskin interviewed on "Writers on Writing"—