Maybe He Just Likes You

Maybe He Just Likes You

Book - 2019
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When boys in her class start touching seventh-grader Mila and making her feel uncomfortable, she does not want to tell her friends or mother until she reaches her breaking point.
Publisher: New York : Aladdin, 2019.
Edition: First Aladdin hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781534432376
153443237X
9781534432383
1534432388
Characteristics: 286 pages ; 22 cm

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Every kid in this age group (boys most definitely included) should read this book.


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ArapahoeSusanW Dec 31, 2020

I stumbled across this thought-provoking middle grade novel, finished it in a day and talked to my family. "Maybe He Just Likes You" is an important novel that provides insight into the stress young girls experience with body changes during puberty.
When 7th grader, Mila attracts unwanted attention from the boys in their group, her distress is minimized by both the school administrators and her friends as overly sensitive and an overreaction to "flattering" attention. The harassment she suffers is anything but flattering and empowering. It reveals the unwelcome teasing suffered by many middle grade students, not just those who are developmentally advanced. This novel triggered parental soul searching and remorse as well as the desire to advocate for pre teen and teen women.
Parent's of any middle grade student would do well to hand this to any family member in this age group.

l
labraden
Oct 23, 2020

As Mila is just starting to get used to 7th grade, she notices that several of the boys have been finding excuses to touch her in ways that she believes are inappropriate. They have also been making comments that give her a strange feeling in her stomach. Mila is afraid to tell her mom because she is having her own troubles at work. Her friends try to be supportive, but they either blame her for what is happening or believe that she needs to tell someone and get help. However, every time Mila tries to tell one of the staff at her school, she is misunderstood, leading to more problems. Mila has tried walking away or ignoring the boys, but they just won't leave her alone.
Maybe He Just Likes You is a book that should be read by every middle school teacher and student. The emotions that Mila feels are extremely familiar and easily identifiable to anyone who has been through middle school. Bullying and sexual harassment are woven into the plot of the story so that any young person who is experiencing the same thing can learn strategies to make it stop. My only complaint about the book is that the resolution is a little too easily achieved, but overall, a very timely story with an important message delivered in a way that young and old can understand.

SAPL_Teens Aug 22, 2020

Mila has just started seventh grade. One day, she wears her favorite fuzzy green sweater to school, when something weird happens. Some of the boys start asking to touch it... and they don’t stop. Soon it escalates to hugs and then to touching her after she’s said no. Mila doesn’t know what to do - one of her friends says it’s just flirting, while another wants her to go talk to the vice principal and report it as bullying. But it’s not really bullying… is it?

Pros
Maybe he Just Likes You is a timely novel about the #metoo movement. The well rounded and believable characters bring the story to life and readers will definitely find themselves rooting for Mila. Her thoughts and feelings are realistic and believable, as well as her reactions to the boys’ harassment.

Cons
The pacing of this book can be a bit awkward at times, but overall it’s well written. The ending might feel a bit too tidy for some reader, but it does offer a hopeful vision of Mila’s future.

Overall
Overall, Maybe He Just Likes You is a must-read for everyone. It offers readers the tools and language to talk about harassment and bullying as well as different ways to deal with harassment. If you’re a fan of realistic fiction and relatable characters, this is the perfect book for you. 5/5 stars - SAPL Teen Read It & Review Contributor

OPL_KrisC Jan 07, 2020

A #MeToo book about a young girl learning to stand up for herself when faced with harassment from some boys at middle school. A good conversation starter for parents to talk about what's okay and not okay in terms of behavior.

d
darladoodles
Nov 12, 2019

Barbara Dee addresses a middle school issue head on in this book and models healthy resolutions just as she did in "All the Things I Know About You." Mila is in 7th grade and the boys are paying her a little too much attention. As her discomfort grows, she struggles with how to address the problem. Here are some things I really liked about this book: 1. Mila is a trumpet player, so there is lots of band room action. 2. Her family (Mom, sister and Mila) goes to a gym together and they each find their own favorite class. 3. Mila chooses karate and discovers the joys of practiced self-discipline and gained confidence that come from improving your personal fitness. 4. There are adults who really listen and empathize with her helping her to resolve the problem. One of them even apologizes for not realizing earlier how serious the issue really was. 5. The culprits are held accountable and given consequences. This book will remind middle school boys and girls to respect each other's boundaries.

k
KristiBernard
Sep 16, 2019

Mila has started the 7th grade. She is in band and pretty good with a trumpet. Her best friends, Omi, Zara and Max, are there navigating through the new year adapting to new experiences and school activities. But, Mila is not without responsibilities. At home her mom works and her dad has left. Her after school responsibilities are her dog and her little sister. Those stresses are mild compared to the new stress of some boys on the basketball team, at school who are doing things that make her uncomfortable. There are plenty of annoyances and inappropriate touching that have her concerned. As a result, her moods have changed and she doesn’t feel as though she can ask her friends for help, especially Zara who thinks they are teasing her because they like her.

The unwanted attention is starting to trickle into the music classroom and others are starting to notice. Her friend Max offers to help since she helped him the year before when he was being bullyed and Omi is quietly watching and advises her to never be alone. At home, mom loses her job and her worry with these life changes are making her sick. With the help of a new friend in Samira, she begins to gain confidence and the will to fight back from a karate class she attended while her mom and sister took other exercise classes. With this new confidence and another classmate sharing her bad experiences from the same set of boys, is it time for Mila to talk to a teacher and ask for help or should she take on the bad boys all by herself?

The subject matter in this book is sensitive. These experiences are not uncommon and helping read about them will make it easier for young readers to feel confident in speaking with friends, family or teachers to ask for help and guidance. The story shared and the characters represented can help readers recognize the signs of bullying, verbal abuse and sexual harassment. Parents and teachers can use this as tool to discuss ideas and concerns students may have or perhaps things they’ve seen and how they can get help to stop the unwanted behavior.

Chapel_Hill_MaiaJ Sep 05, 2019

I can’t wait to recommend this book to every kid I know!

So many great discussion questions come from this book, whether for a class or between a kid and their parent or teacher. How did the different characters react to the sexual harassment and what happened as a result? Why do you think they reacted in those ways? What reasons did the boys give for harassing Mila? What caused them to finally stop? What could you do if you saw this happening to someone else? What could you do if this happened to you? Who are some adults you would trust enough to talk to?

I really appreciated the way that the author made the friend group realistically diverse, and how sensitively and complexly she portrayed different characters. Especially when addressing such an emotional topic, it would be easy to demonize the boys involved in the harassment, but even they are developed as whole, complex people.

Having a character in a middle grades book face this incredibly tough situation and find a way to stop it is empowering for readers, and provides some really concrete examples for kids facing these situations in real life. It also opens up a conversation so that kids will hopefully be less likely to hide what’s happening or not know what to do. Books like this are so important and I’m really glad this one exists.

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OPL_KrisC Jan 07, 2020

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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