Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
School is back in session and I know some of you are scrambling for good books for your tweens to read. "Maybe He Just Likes You" by Barbara Dee should be on your child's book list.
"Maybe He Just Likes You" tackles a lot in short succinct chapters and amazing grace.
Mila is in 7th grade and suddenly receiving attention from a group of boys at school. At first she thinks it is all in her head and then a girl friend accuses her of flirting. As things escalate Mila is overwhelmed with confusion and frustration. She does not like the attention, but all her friends dismiss her feelings. In the middle of all of this, her mother is going through her own drama.
I need to be real with you. The way Dee writes makes you feel the action. This includes the anticipation Mila feels when she is expecting unwanted attention. I felt it in my body and flashed back to my own hellish time in 7th grade. I wish I had handled my own situation the way Mila attacks hers. Don't get me wrong, she flops around and fails a lot, but you are always sympathizing with her, even at her worst.
The ending is pretty pat and may give young readers the idea that life has perfect bows, but I choose to think of it as an aspirational ending, not an idealistic one.
This book could be a great salve for a young person on the receiving end of unwanted attention. It is also a great mother-daughter book. As Mila's mom was wrapped up in her very real and valid grown-up issues, it still made me wonder of what I may have missed with my own daughter when I've struggled with my life stuff. This book is also an excellent learning tool for all tweens about being a good friend, about being brave enough to be a good friend.
Disclaimer: I was pitched this book by a publicist. I am happy I said yes!!
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