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Maybe He Just Likes You

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  3,443 ratings  ·  822 reviews
A 2020 ALA Notable Children’s Book
A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2019

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 some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blac
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Aladdin
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Ashlyn 1. You get a copy of this book from somewhere.
2. Open the book with things called hands.
3. You use something called eyes and read the book.
4. Flip fro…more
1. You get a copy of this book from somewhere.
2. Open the book with things called hands.
3. You use something called eyes and read the book.
4. Flip from page to page until you finish the book.(less)
Hermione Granger This is an amazing book. I personally believe that any and all children should at one point read this.
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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 ·  3,443 ratings  ·  822 reviews

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Kate Olson
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(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! ...more
Erin Kelly
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly important book. Speaks to relevant topics without being pedantic. I wish I’d had this when I was a kid. Please hand this to young readers of ALL genders.
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.
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
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
“They were just being friendly.” “Today’s my birthday.” “Seventh grade boys can be very immature.” “Maybe they just like you.” “It’s called flirting.” “Maybe if you think about what you’re doing…”

Hands swishing across her shoulder, squeezing a shoulder, bumping her shoulder on the bus. Boys asking for hugs and to touch her sweater for luck, leaning on her during band practice, touching her. Even when she tells them to stop. It gets worse when she finds out that the basketball team has made a gam
Stacey DeCotis (Reading in the Middle Grades)
I am writing this review as a parent, not a teacher. A parent of girls and a boy. This book needs to be in the hands of every single upper middle school student. Girls need it to stand up for themselves and speak up without feeling ashamed. Boys need it to reinforce that it’s never ok to tease a girl about her body, or put their hands on anyone without their permission. A safe book about sexual harassment and consent for kids who are the most hormonal and confused and facing the most peer pressu ...more
This book is surprising and brave. I had such a visceral reaction to all of Mila's harrassment--specifics are always different, but the feelings are the same, and Dee does an amazing job at capturing Mila's humiliation, confusion, and self-doubt. When Mila acknowledges what's being done to her and finds the courage to fight back, I was so proud of her. I'd like to force every single one of my students to read this, which would probably backfire, so instead I'll just booktalk it enthusiastically ...more
Alex  Baugh
In the age of #MeToo, as more and more girls and women are speaking out about their personal sexual harassment experiences, author Barbara Dee takes on this issue and shows how easily it can happen and how girls and women are pushed into keeping silent.

For seventh-grader Mila Brennan, all starts with a green fuzzy sweater and the lingering hand of Callum Burley during a birthday hug for her friend Omi, much to the delight of his friends Dante, Tobias, and Leo, a/k/a the basketball boys, and much
Lynn Plourde
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the most important book I've read in years. It was a gut-punch book and a heart-hope book. Seventh-grade Mila is such a vivid character, so real. She's sexually harassed by a group of boys at her school (they keep a scorecard of what they can "get away" with--comments about her body, hugging her to feel her breasts, grabbing her butt). No one believes her at first and she questions herself--was she making a big deal out of "boys being boys"? I was with Mila every word of the story, and I ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps


When Mila is sexually harassed, she finds little support and understanding from her friends and the school. At home, she protects her stressed-out, single mom from the pain.

Barbara Dee has written an important, yet often unrealistic, middle grade novel about middle school sexual harassment. Dee gets right through lack of understanding among her friends (one thinks it’s flirting) and their different reactions. The diverse characters in MAYBE HE JUST LIKES YOU give depth to the st
When I was in elementary school (around 10 or 11), a guy on the public tranport vehicle sat next to me and put his hand on my thigh. I didn't understand why he did it, but I remembered feeling dirty. So I got off the vehicle 2 blocks from school and walked the rest of the way. That was my first brush with sexual harrassment.

I think it is really important to talk to children about a sensitive topic like this. It shouldn't be tolerated or taken lightly. No one should ever have to suffer something
Barbara Dee does an amazing job of making the distinction between flirting and harassment.

Mila wears a favorite fuzzy green sweater and when the basketball team wants to touch it for good luck, it makes her feel uncomfortable, especially when the touching and hugging continues after she tells them to stop. It continues even after she stops wearing it. The other seventh graders seem to turn a blind eye to what is happening to Mila and she is afraid to speak up, especially when her friend, Zara se
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
Lorie Barber
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fiction
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
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.
Abby Cooper
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every middle school student and teacher should read this book.
Jenn Bishop
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another timely, relatable, and utterly readable novel from Barbara Dee.
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
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 goo
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a serious book, but I thought it was really well done and believable. The everyday family issues, the friendship ups and downs, and of course the harassment the main character Mila is facing from boys in her school. It's one of those books that makes you think about your own middle school experience and shudder. I also enjoyed that Mila starts an extracurricular activity that brings her confidence and strength. ...more
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This brought back SO many uncomfortable feelings of what it was like to be a girl in middle school. Absolutely required reading for any parent and middle schooler who needs to have talking points about consent.
~Reading Rambler~
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is such a powerful example of sexual harassment. It does a phenomenal job at showing many different things.

1. Its hard to talk about it.
2. Your friends aren't always going to understand.
3. More often than not, if you ask the offender(s) to stop, they won't.
4. Your friends might not even believe you, at least at first.

I'm not sure if I can put into words the strong feelings I have towards this book. So many women, and men, face this kind of harassment all the time. The author does a wo
Laurie Hnatiuk
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fiction
There is a reason for the buzz about this book. It is because Barbara Dee has told the #metoo story for middle grade. This book speaks for itself in so many ways that you will need multiple copies because this book will resonate with this age group and constantly be in the hands of young readers and not on a shelf. Whether it is someone experiencing sexual harassment, the abuser(s), a bystander, a teacher or a parent this is a story that is happening and needs to be out in the open and discussed ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Simon & Schuster for an eARC of this book.

5 stars for this MUST HAVE for all middle school libraries. Barbara Dee continues to amaze me with how spot on her middle grade voice is, and once again takes a topic rarely talked about in MGlit and shines a light on it for all to see.

In MAYBE HE JUST LIKES YOU, Mila is dealing with unwanted attention for the boys in her school. Requests for hugs, comments about her body, and unwanted touches make Mila extremely uncomfortable
Sarah Krajewski
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First it was a hug that lasted too long. Then another. Next came bumps and pats, and then the giggles and snickers. Mila doesn’t understand what’s going on with some of the boys on the basketball team, but she knows how they are treating her isn’t right. But what can she do? Should she tell someone, and if so, who? Her mother is struggling with a difficult job, and her guidance counselor just went on maternity leave. She wants to tell her friends, but they seem to think this is all harmless joki ...more
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a very important book presented in an age-appropriate manner for middle school readers. Harassment and consent are crucial topics to be discussed with middle school students. This book dives into these topics in an appropriate manner. As a middle school educator, I will admit it was difficult to read at times because it made me wonder how often the inappropriate actions displayed in the story have actually happened to my students outside of my supervision. How often are commen ...more
Debbie Tanner
This story is about Mila, who is starting 7th grade. She has a tight group of friends that she feels comfortable with. They are celebrating one of the girl's birthday and some boys from the basketball team come over and want to share the birthday hug, except that it feels uncomfortable to Mila. She tries to brush it off, but things like that keep happening over and over again. Mila tries to talk to the boys herself, tries to talk to the teachers, tries the guidance counselor, tries her friends, ...more
Amy Holland
Don’t ever say ‘excuse me’ or ‘sorry,’ and don’t end sentences with questions. First rule of self-defense is: Don’t ask your attacker for validation. Never apologize for sticking up for yourself.
Not even done, but ahhh my heart...such an accurate picture of what it's like to have your boundaries ignored/disrespected. Makes it kind of triggering to read, but this is such an important book. Really wish I could've read it as an adolescent -- I think it would've given me some tools to stand up for
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgalley and Aladdin for the advance readers copy of this book. Al opinions are my own.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this immensely important middle grades book. When a group of boys start harassing Mila at school, she is uncomfortable. They do not seem to be doing anything that seems bad to a casual observer, but weeks of unwanted touching, bumping, and comments lead her to spiral downward mentally and shrink into herself. She does not feel like she can explain the feeling to anyone, even her fr
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“First rule of self-defense is: Don't ask your attacker for validation.” 6 likes
“I just meant this stuff with me is different. And I definitely wouldn't call it regular bullying."
"So what would you call it, then?"
I opened my mouth to answer.
But I didn't have any words.
Because all the words I could think of—bullying, teasing, flirting—seemed too simple, too small, to hold all the hurt I was feeling.”
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