Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee is a really great book and a must-read for all middle-grade readers. Not only that, it is an important read for all parents, teachers, educators & more. Barbara Dee’s novel will stand the test of time as a layered & valuable story about the importance of trusting one’s instincts, speaking up & being brave enough to stand up for yourself.
Talking Consent with Young Readers
Three years ago I needed to explain what “grab them by the pussy” meant to my 8-year-old daughter. That lewd & disgusting comment really opened up the door for more discussions regarding consent, respect & what to do in a situation if she doesn’t feel comfortable.
This Book is Important & Valuable for Many Reasons
Mila, the main character, experiences taunting, teasing, unprovoked touching & frankly harassment in a way that is likely all too familiar for the vast majority of women. Getting an inside look into Mila’s feelings is incredibly memorable as it can help kids see what these actions can do to a person.
Mila’s friends are just as unsure as she is. Are these unsolicited hugs wrong? Is Mila getting attention for a reason & the other girls are not? Is Mila welcoming this attention? Should she let it go? Should she speak up? Will an adult listen? Will it make it worse? When will it stop?
Adults make mistakes! In this book, a few of the adults do not respond in a way that helps Mila. Although they may try, their efforts often fall flat. Adults reading this book have a lot to learn from this narrative too. What can we do to help our younger generation respect & listen to one another in a way that fosters growth, consent, mutual respect?
I am Really Into This book! The ending of this book is so full circle & impactful that I was beaming & felt victorious finishing it. Mila displays such resilience, strength, vulnerability & bravery that it makes me so happy.
The lowdown on Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee from Goodreads
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