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Maybe He Just Likes You

4.65  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching—and ultimately uplifting—novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates.

For seventh grader Mila, it starts with an unwanted hug on the school blacktop.

The next day, it’s another hug. A smirk. Comments. It all feels…weird. According to her friend Zar
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 1st 2019 by Aladdin
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4.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  115 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Kate ☀️ Olson
(free review copy) MUST READ. I can only think of one other middle grade book that hit me as hard as this one did, albeit on a different subject matter, but MAYBE HE JUST LIKES YOU is the most universally important and timely book that I have read in a long, long time. It's important for my daughters. My son. My husband. My coworkers, both male and female. And it was so important for ME - to have my feelings validated in story.
For the middle school me......
Boys snapping my bra straps and my fri
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK IS SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. Put it in your classrooms, libraries, and directly into your children's hands. Dee tackles harassment in an age appropriate manner that doesn't shy away from holding adults accountable for paying attention. My favorite part is when Mila begins karate classes and learns that defending yourself is about more than shin kicks (although they're still awesome). Bravo!
Ms. Yingling
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss

Mila is anxious about starting middle school, especially since things are tough at home. Her mother seems to be having a tough time at work, although she's not talking about it, and also isn't getting a lot of cooperation with child support from Mila and her younger sister's dad. Mila has grown a bit, and her clothes are too tight, but she doesn't want to say anything, relying instead on a favorite fuzzy green sweater that is loose enough to also cover her tight pants.
Laura Gardner
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Thanks to @kate.olson.reads for sharing this book with me and #kidlitexchange; it's out 10/1

I'll never forget how it felt when a middle school boy created a joke about my body when I was in 7th grade. It was over 25 years ago, but I can still recall the shame and insecurity it created in me. I'll never forget how when I told an adult, they said "it's just words" and "it's a compliment!" I certainly didn't feel complimented. I felt scared and embarrassed.

Barbara Dee has
Abby Cooper
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every middle school student and teacher should read this book.
Kristin Crouch
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for sharing a copy of Maybe He Just Likes You with Collabookation.
Perusing the other reviews of this book before starting mine, I noticed a trend: capital letters. Lots of them. Like, NECESSARY READ and IMPORTANT TOPIC and MUST HAVE. And I'm here to reiterate: BUY THIS BOOK. READ THIS BOOK. SHARE THIS BOOK. WITH CHILDREN & ADULTS, GIRLS AND BOYS, ALL THE PEOPLE.
I'm done with the caps now. But please, set aside a minute to read through what makes this book so flipping
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Why I chose this book:
I would like to expand my coverage of chapter books, so when the opportunity arose to review such a timely book, I was delighted. A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Discomfiting. Empowering. Frustrating. Infuriating. Inspiring. Timely.

Seventh grade Mila is being sexually harassed by a group of boys at school. They have a "game" in which they score points for touching her, making obscene comments to her, and the like.
Mila's uncertainty is what
Amber K.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In Maybe He Just Likes You, Barbara Dee nails sexual harassment in the middle school context in a sensitive and age appropriate way. The harassment is not overt. Most of it is subtle and easy for adults and friends to miss, but it’s still incredibly damaging.

For seventh grader Mila, it starts with an unwanted hug from a boy. Then it turns into other “little things” that really begin to add up. When Mila uses her voice, the boys, some of her friends and even the guidance counselor don’t listen.
Mary Lee
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five stars for the importance of the story, but wow is it ever hard to read. It's so realistic how Mila second-guesses herself and her reactions. And sadly, I think the unapproachable adults is fairly realistic, too. A must-read. I'm tagging it bully in lieu of creating a sexual harassment tag, and growth mindset because of the way the karate lessons helped Mila take charge.
Leigh Anne
Barbara Dee has a gift for taking tough topics and writing about them on a middle grade level. She doesn't "water them down." She relates. And her new book, Maybe He Just Likes You, is no different. Read my review and how this book affected me as a middle school teacher:

Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing middle grade novel about boundaries and consent. Should be required reading for middle schoolers.
Lorie Barber
I started Maybe He Just Likes You this evening.

It’s now 11:00pm. I’m finished. And I’m crying.

This was an incredibly important book for me to read: as a mom, as a teacher, and as a woman. I couldn’t put it down, even though parts of this MG novel made me want to scream with anger and throw it across the room. And I’m finding it hard to “write a review” about a book that has moved me so much.

All the “reviewer” stuff applies: great character development, growth, and change; a crisp plot that do
Patti Sabik
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Wow! Very realistic portrayal of sexual harassment at the middle school level and how difficult it is for the subject of the harassment to deal with insults and physical bullying. The impact it has on friendships, self-esteem, and family life are detailed very convincingly. It sounds so easy to "just say no" yet in reality it is quite difficult and even when the words come out somehow the meaning doesn't always get conveyed...why?!? This book not only empowers both genders to examine the issue, ...more
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I desperately wish I had been given this book in middle school. It was hard for me to read at times because I could remember feeling this way, fighting these incidents of harassment, and not having a word for it. Lucky for me, I had a mom who did have the words and who made the school speak them too. Being a kid in your heart and a young woman on the outside is a lonely and sometimes scary space to live in, especially when you’re ahead of your peers and not many have faced sexual harassment yet. ...more
Pernille Ripp
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an important middle grade book that discusses boundaries and consent and what is crossing the line or not - this should be added to all middle school libraries and up. Thank you, @barbaradeebooks for writing this important book #pernillerecommends adding it to my best books of the year list
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book is so important. I wish I'd had it when I was in middle school. It offers such an honest, often heartwrenching look at sexual harassment. So, so important.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mila is a seventh grader who lives with her mom and her younger sister. Her parents are divorced and she rarely sees or hears anything from her dad anymore, it only comes up when she hears the phone calls of her mom with him, when apparently it is about money that isn't there. Her mom has a hard time making ends meet on her own.

At school everything is normal until something is starting that looks quite innocent in the beginning, but it is anything but; it all starts when a few of the guys, mostl
Mandy Stallard
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookposse
When does harmless flirting cross the line and become sexual harassment? Mila knows that the basketball boys are giving her creepy feelings, so it can't be flirting. When she tries to describe some of the comments guys have been making and the inappropriate touching, one of her best friends counters with "maybe he just likes you." Why is it that we so often excuse a boy's bad behavior? We say "boys will be boys" like that makes anything they do okay. But the thing is, it's not okay. As a woman w ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t wait to recommend this book to every kid I know! Teacher friends, librarian friends, please get this book and put it in the hands of kids, boys and girls alike.

If I were still teaching middle school, I’d totally try to make it part of the curriculum. 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 re
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes, a book comes out and it's been long overdue. It may be from an underrepresented voice. It may be about a topic we don't talk about enough. And it's not the best book ever, it may be poorly written or heavy-handed. But we praise it, not because of its literary merit, but because it's the pioneer that we need. We need the representation and the empowerment, the permission to write the stories that need to be told. We celebrate it, and hope that, now that the groundwork has been done, we ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It all starts with an unwanted hug that takes seventh-grader Mila by surprise, on the school playground, when the basketball boys decide to join in on a friend's birthday celebration. It keeps going: unwanted hugs, comments, even touches; barely disguised chuckles and cheers among the basketball boys. Mila knows it's wrong. She feels uncomfortable, she feels it in her skin, but her friends think she's being dramatic. The teacher she tries to talk to brushes it off. And it keeps going, because sh ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Barbara Dee delves into the #MeToo movement by addressing the topic of sexual harassment in a sensitive and age appropriate way. The harassment is subtle—uninitiated hugs, passing touches, unwanted comments—under the radar to the point where teachers, parents, and friends overlook it, but it’s still incredibly damaging. As a mom of two girls who can still remember the “flirting” from boys in middle school who maybe did not know where the line between teasing and harassment was, this book truly r ...more
Katie Reilley
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to my friend Michele Knott for sharing her ARC with me to read.

Barbara Dee has written an important middle grade text that needs to be in the hands of ALL tweens & teens.

Mila is a middle school student who’s suddenly facing unwanted attention from the boys in her grade. It begins with a hug during a birthday celebration for a friend and continues as comments about her clothing/body and touching/grabbing Mila without her consent. When she tries to tell them to stop, they tell her
Katrina Feraco
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Barbara Dee's writing is honest and age-appropriate without condescension as she tells a story of a middle-school girl who is harassed by the boys in her grade and who eventually doesn't feel safe anywhere in the whole town except home and her martial arts class. It brought back a few familiar memories of my own preadolescence and made me thankful that someone out there is addressing the challenges that hitting puberty brings especially for young women; I found its depiction of school administra ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This is one of those books that may not be an enjoyable read and it may have faults, but it is absolutely a necessary book and should be a mandatory read for all middle schoolers. I wish they had labeled what was happening to Mila as sexual harassment more prominently because that is absolutely what it was - not bullying or teasing or flirting. The author did a really nice job of juxtaposing all the different ways a victim of sexual harassment is typically treated and also provided a nice outlet ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing - Aladdin in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I was reluctant to start this book because it talked about a sensitive topic that is seen each day in some way shape or form and now with all that has been going on with sexual harassment, we don't know how to even interpret the most simple cues as being some form of harassment. All of us in one shape or fo
Mary Thomas
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow- this one really lives up to the hype! A fantastic read about 7th trader Mila, who is dealing with sexual harassment at school. I raced through this one! Very excited for students to read and discuss with them. I think it’ll be popular with my middle schoolers!
Katrina Eddy
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I dreaded finishing this book because of the subject matter. It’s a hard pill to swallow when reading about middle schoolers getting sexually harassed but it was an important story to tell. I feel like it encompasses the movement of victims who are working to have their voices heard because people don’t want to believe them. It involves the real components of people trying to play it off as a joke to the skeptics. Everyone deserves to be listened to and believes.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Barbara Dee does it again! She has written a perfect middle grade novel to help students understand CONSENT in a meaningful way. I love the strength that Mila is able to share throughout the book. She will help many students understand what it means to have the tenacity to follow your heart and do what's right even when it doesn't feel good. This needs to be in the hands of all students!
Erin Varley
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Barbara Dee for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group.

This book is so important. It chronicles Mila’s experience with sexual harassment. I went through a roller coaster of emotions while reading this book- shock, anger, annoyance, and hope. This sort of thing happens all the time and it is about time we have a book to help us teach kids about the damage it causes. Thank you Barbara, for writing about the topics that our kids need. Five BIG stars.
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