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“Maybe He Just Likes You” a thought provoking, hard read 

Abby’s Angle

“Maybe He Just Likes You,” a book for middle-grade readers, written by author Barbara Dee follows a 12-year-old girl named Mila, who faces harassment from a group of boys who make a game to score points by making her uncomfortable through inappropriate touching and commenting on her clothes and body. 

Initially, Mila is confused and uncomfortable, but as the harassment escalates, she realizes that they have crossed the line. However, she feels too uncomfortable with the situation to do anything about it, and her mother is unaware of it. The teachers also don’t see it happening, and her friends think that she is responsible for it. In the end, Mila must find her voice, stand her ground and put a stop to the harassment, while also dealing with other personal problems. 

When I was recommended this book, I was hesitant to read it because I knew it dealt with sexual harassment and other sensitive topics. However, I didn’t know the effect it would have on me. As I began to read, I found myself relating to Mila and her struggles as a middle school student. Mila made me think about things that I didn’t realize I had felt before, and just made me truly think about what being a middle school student is as a whole, providing a realistic portrayal of what it’s like to deal with problems like friend drama, family issues, body image insecurities and harassment from boys. 

I read the book quickly and found very few faults with it. It provides a realistic view of what sexual harassment can look like in middle school while being appropriate for younger audiences. I found the characters to be well-written, and the plot engaging, making this a short read for me. It made me think about my life, and I believe it will do the same for others. I would recommend this book to anyone in middle grade and above.

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