Maybe He Just Likes You

Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-5344-3237-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-1534432383
Also available in audio editions
Ages 9-13

About the Book:

For seventh grader Mila, it starts with some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blacktop during a surprise birthday celebration.

The next day, it’s another hug. A smirk. Comments. It all feels…weird. According to her friend Zara, Mila is being immature and overreacting. Doesn’t she know what flirting looks like?

But it keeps happening, despite Mila’s protests. On the bus, in the halls. Even during band practice–the one time Mila can always escape to her happy “blue-sky” feeling. It seems like the boys are EVERYWHERE. And their behavior doesn’t feel like flirting–so what is it?

Mila starts to gain confidence when she enrolls in karate class. But her friends still don’t understand why Mila is making such a big deal about the boys’ attention. When Mila is finally pushed too far, she realizes she can’t battle this on her own, and she finds help in some unexpected places.

From the author of EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU, HALFWAY NORMAL and STAR-CROSSED comes this timely story of a middle school girl standing up and finding her voice.

Honors and Lists:

  • ALA Notable Children’s Books 2020 (Middle Grade–Older Readers)
  • Edutopia’s 25 Essential Middle School Reads from the Last Decade
  • ALA 2020 Rise: A Feminist Book Project List (Middle Grade—Fiction)
  • Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books of 2019
  • 2020-2021 Project Lit selection
  • 2020 Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year
  • CBC 2020 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
  • First Runner-Up, 2021 Rhode Island Middle School Book Award
  • 2022 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award / Illinois Children’s Choice Award list
  • 2021-2022 Kentucky Bluegrass Award, Grades 6-8
  • 2021-2022 Evergreen Teen Book Award (Washington), Middle School List
  • Keystone to Reading Secondary Reading List (Pennsylvania)
  • Kansas 2021-2022 William Allen White Children’s Book Award list, Grades 6-8
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Intermediate Title
  • 2020-2021 Maine Student Book Award
  • Garden State Teen Book Award (New Jersey), Grades 6-8
  • 2022 Oregon Reader’s Choice Award, Grades 6-8
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association’s 2020 “Just One More Page” Recommendation List
  • Maryland Association of School Librarians 2020-2021 Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, Grades 6-9
  • North Carolina Middle School Battle of the Books
  • 2020-2021 Vermont Middle-Grade Children’s Book Award
  • 2021-2022 Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, Grades 6-8
  • Honor Title, 2021-2022 Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award, Grades 6-8
  • 2022-2023 Georgia Children’s Book Award, Grades 6-8
  • 2022-2023 Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award, Grades 6-8
  • 2021 Lone Star Texas Annotated Reading List
  • Joliet Reads List (Illinois)
  • Sakura Medal (Japanese International Schools)
  • 2019 Cybils (Middle Grade Fiction)
  • 2019 Middle Grade Fiction Nerdies list
  • A Mighty Girl’s 2019 Books of the Year
  • Betsy Bird’s Best MG Novels of 2019
  • Pernelle Ripp’s Best Books of 2019
  • A Denver Public Library Best & Brightest Chapter Books of 2019
  • 2024-2025 North Carolina Battle of the Books



“Barbara Dee brings the #MeToo conversation to a middle-grade audience with nuance and authenticity. An important book.”–The Best Children’s Books of 2019, The Washington Post

“Sensitively wrought … a springboard for discussion among middle schoolers.  Easily grasped scenarios and short chapters help make this timely #MeToo story accessible to a wide audience” —★ Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“An important read with great potential for classroom use.“ —School Library Journal

“An excellent choice to inspire conversations.” —Bulletin of the Center For Children’s Books

Important for its relevance… MAYBE HE JUST LIKES YOU will appeal to middle-grade readers as well as parents and educators.”—Booklist

“A book all middle school-aged students should read and discuss. Highly recommended.”—School Library Connection

“Timely and important, this empowering book draws a clear line between wanted, reciprocal flirtation and Mila’s experience, and explores issues of sexual harassment in a manner relatable to middle grade readers.” —

Great, important, REAL bookWill inspire much-needed conversations for middle grade readers and the adults in their lives.” —SLJ’s Teen Librarian Toolbox

Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-5344-3237-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-1534432383
Also available in audio editions
Ages 9-13