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Maybe He Just Likes You

By: Barbara Dee

For seventh-grader Mila, it starts with some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. A few days later, at recess, one of the boys (and fellow trumpet player) Callum tells Mila it’s his birthday, and asks her for a “birthday hug.” He’s just being friendly, isn’t he? And how can she say no? But Callum’s hug lasts a few seconds too long, and feels…weird. According to her friend, Zara, Mila is being immature and overreacting. Doesn’t she know what flirting looks like? But the boys don’t leave Mila alone. On the bus. In the halls. During band practice—the one place Mila could always escape. It doesn’t feel like flirting—so what is it?

Thanks to a chance meeting, Mila begins to find solace in a new place: karate class. Slowly, with the help of a fellow classmate, Mila learns how to stand her ground and how to respect others—and herself.

ISBN: 9781534432376

JLG Release: Mar 2020


Sensitive Areas: Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes
Topics: Sexual harassment , Middle schools , Best friends , Friendship , Single-parent families , Family life

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal, Booklist

School Library Journal

The first time the group of boys asked for hugs, seventh grader Mila felt uncomfortable. As the requests for hugs and unwanted touches increase in frequency, Mila does not know where to turn. Her mother is going through a tough time herself, and Mila doesn’t want to add to her stress. Some of her friends brush off her complaints of unwanted atten The first time the group of boys asked for hugs, seventh grader Mila felt uncomfortable. As the requests for hugs and unwanted touches increase in frequency, Mila does not know where to turn. Her mother is going through a tough time herself, and Mila doesn’t want to add to her stress. Some of her friends brush off her complaints of unwanted attention as flirting. When Mila finds out that touching her has become a game to the boys and attempts to confront them, they deny action and intent. Her initial efforts to get help from staff at her school are met with heartbreakingly minimized responses. This relatable text provides young readers with a believable example of what sexual harassment may look and feel like at a middle school level. Dee creates a varied cast of characters with evolving perspectives, including adults who were initially dismissive of Mila’s harassment. Told from Mila’s point of view, the novel is at its best in moments of emotional intensity. Mila’s reaction to her situation sometimes surprises even herself, when her initial doubts and fear turn to rage. Mila ultimately finds tools and allies who help resolve her situation, though the conclusion seems speedy compared to the rest of the story. An important read with great potential for classroom use. Mila’s experience may resonate with young readers, who may need to follow up with a trusted adult.

Book Details

ISBN

9781534432376

First Release

March 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

304

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.2; Points: 7;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 630L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Aladdin

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes

Topics

Sexual harassment, Middle schools, Best friends, Friendship, Single-parent families, Family life,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

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