Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee

Published by Aladdin

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Summary:  Seventh grader Mila is disturbed when a group of boys starts giving her unwanted attention in the form of hugs and touches.  She eventually learn they’re playing a game where they score points for different kinds of touching or responses from her. Her friends react differently: a couple are supportive, but one thinks she’s overreacting and is jealous that her crush is paying attention to Mila.  Another friend is upset when Mila won’t take his advice to tell the vice principal, but Mila is embarrassed. Her single mom is dealing with work-related stress, so Mila is hesitant to bother her. Everything comes to a head at the middle school band concert, and Mila’s disruption causes the truth to finally come out and get things resolved.  Mila moves on from the incident feeling stronger and more self-confident, with a greater knowledge of who her true friends really are. 304 pages; grades 5-8.

Pros:  Barbara Dee addresses the issue of sexual harassment in a way that is believable and understandable for middle school students.  Readers will recognize many of the kids, adults, and situations in Mila’s life; teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators would find this a helpful read as well.

Cons:  The ending felt a little too easy to me: the boys all expressed remorse and none of their parents rushed to their sons’ defense.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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