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All the Things We Never Knew
Cover of All the Things We Never Knew
All the Things We Never Knew
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"Masterfully bounces and slams two hearts up and down a shrouded court of first love and revelations. A hard-to-put-down backboard-breaker."—Rita Williams-Garcia, National Book Award Finalist and...
"Masterfully bounces and slams two hearts up and down a shrouded court of first love and revelations. A hard-to-put-down backboard-breaker."—Rita Williams-Garcia, National Book Award Finalist and...
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  • "Masterfully bounces and slams two hearts up and down a shrouded court of first love and revelations. A hard-to-put-down backboard-breaker."—Rita Williams-Garcia, National Book Award Finalist and New York Times–bestselling author

    From the moment Carli and Rex first locked eyes on a Texas high school basketball court, they both knew it was destiny. But can you truly love someone else if you don't love yourself?

    Acclaimed author Liara Tamani's luminous second novel explores love, family, heartbreak, betrayal, and the power of healing, in gorgeous prose that will appeal to readers of Nicola Yoon and Jacqueline Woodson.

    A glance was all it took. That kind of connection, the immediate and raw understanding of another person, just doesn't come along very often. And as rising stars on their Texas high schools' respective basketball teams, destined for bright futures in college and beyond, it seems like a match made in heaven. But Carli and Rex have secrets. As do their families.

    Liara Tamani, the author of the acclaimed Calling My Name, follows two Black teenagers as they discover how first love, heartbreak, betrayal, and family can shape you—for better or for worse. A novel full of pain, joy, healing, and hope for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jenny Han.

    "A beautifully poignant love letter: to a first love, to basketball, and to that enigmatic bunch we think we know best, only to discover we don't know at all—family. Tamani's latest is a bright shining star."—David Arnold, New York Times–bestselling author of Mosquitoland

    "Readers will be easily swept away by this tale exploring the hearts and souls of two emotionally vulnerable athletes." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")

About the Author-

  • Liara Tamani lives in Houston, Texas. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College. She is the author of the acclaimed Calling My Name, which was a 2018 PEN America Literary Award Finalist and a 2018 SCBWI Golden Kite Finalist, and All the Things We Never Knew. www.liaratamani.com

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Rex and Carli, both juniors, play basketball for different high schools. At first glance, they both feel an immediate attraction. During a game, Rex blows a kiss to his mom before he shoots, and Carli thinks it's for her. A few minutes later they meet, when Carli falls into a faint, and Rex catches her. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of this most appealing couple as they experience their first love, struggle through polarizing feelings about basketball, and witness the consequences of hiding secrets. Tamani allows readers a deep dive into the glory and mess of new relationships, while also providing Carli and Rex with family back stories that give their actions and reasoning credibility. VERDICT The immediacy of Tamani's writing, imbued with wonderful sensory moments as the two protagonists let their guards down, will ensure that this engaging story has wide appeal.-Michelle Kornberger, Havenview Middle School, Memphis

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2020
    Two promising Texas basketball players navigate the ups and downs of first love. For 11th grade star players Carli and Rex, it's love at first sight when he blows her a kiss from the free-throw line as she watches the game on the sidelines. Carli believes in magic and looks for signs in everyday life--like Rex's kiss--to help her make decisions. Who should she live with after her parents' divorce? What should she do with her future--one that won't include basketball, which she knows will disappoint her father and teammates? Rex is a nature lover like his mother, who died giving birth to him. His father is distant, and inside their big, lonely house, Rex dreams of the NBA. Carli and Rex's roller-coaster romance is rife with betrayal, heartbreak, grief, and family secrets. As narrators of alternating chapters, they are funny, smart, and unflinchingly candid. Well-written dialogue and fine attention to detail reveal Tamani's strong insight into Gen Z life. The intensity and depth of Carli and Rex's love story are conveyed as deftly as the high-energy play-by-plays in their basketball games. Tamani crafts layers of complexity around falling in love, making hard choices, and dealing with loss--on and off the court--in this deeply intimate story of two talented, sensitive teens. Carli, Rex, and their relatives and friends are black; Rex's teammates are white. A superb, complex romance full of heart, humor, and unforgettable characters. (Fiction. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 1, 2020
    Texas high school junior basketball star Rex Carrington has a tradition at the free-throw line: blowing a kiss to his mother, who died giving birth to him. On the day his kiss happens to land on 16-year-old Carli, another basketball champion from another school, she passes out, he catches her, and the two form a bond that eventually turns into love. Through poetic, economic prose and alternating points of view, Tamani (Calling My Name) evokes myriad emotions: Rex associates his father’s neglect with blame for Rex’s mother’s death; Carli wants to quit basketball and is devastated over her parents’ recent separation. Though complexities threaten the romance (misunderstandings, family secrets, Rex’s frustrations, and Carli’s reluctance to be open), most prominently shown is its passion (“It’s like we’re two trees secretly sharing nutrients underground, two stars orbiting around all the things there’s no language for”). Readers will be easily swept away by this tale exploring the hearts and souls of two emotionally vulnerable athletes. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary.

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    Greenwillow Books
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