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The Best Thing about this Book is the authenticity of doubt in Mila’s voice.
Premise: Time to celebrate a birthday with a circle of friends in a group hug. But when a group of basketball boys insert themselves in the hug and continue to hug or touch Mila in the coming days, is it all in her head or does their snickering mean more?
Title: When harassment occurs, everyone has a different take on it. It was just a joke. It’s flirting. Maybe he’s just likes you. The title of this book tackles the questioning and doubt around harassment head-on — and asks the reader to consider what approach he/she/they want to take as a bystander.
Main Character(s): Mila, 7th grade (she/her)
Motifs (not exhaustive): friendship, doubt, strength, bullying, harassment, trust, courage, truth, listening, support, music, self defense
Great for…* (readers): period. As a mother of two sons, I’m making sure they read this book. Barbara Dee herself (the author) dedicates the book to her son. Unfortunately, each kid is likely to experience or witness something similar to what Mila experiences. This book will help prepare a kid or help a kid who is trying to sort through it (though the latter should be done with additional assistance).
Great for…* (teachers): This would be a great book club book. Or a book to track the changes in perspective Mila has about a variety of things. What’s her tipping point?
Parental Warning(s): None that aren’t implied by the subject of the book.
Interact: This book made me so angry. That emotion stems for sorrow and hurt. What is the primary emotion you feel when you read a book like this or hear a true story about harassment?
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*The “Great for” category is not exhaustive and does not intend to neglect the multitude of readers/teachers who could learn from this book in any number of ways.
٭ = DNF, would not recommend
٭٭ = would not recommend
٭٭٭ = enjoyable, would recommend
٭٭٭٭ = very good, would recommend
٭٭٭٭٭ = amazing, would definitely recommend