About this item

Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching - and ultimately uplifting - novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates.

For seventh-grader Mila, it starts with some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. A few days later, at recess, one of the boys (and fellow trumpet player) Callum tells Mila it's his birthday, and asks her for a "birthday hug." He's just being friendly, isn't he? And how can she say no? But Callum's hug lasts a few seconds too long, and feels ... weird. According to her friend, Zara, Mila is being immature and overreacting. Doesn't she know what flirting looks like?

But the boys don't leave Mila alone. On the bus. In the halls. During band practice - the one place Mila could always escape.

It doesn't feel like flirting - so what is it? Thanks to a chance meeting, Mila begins to find solace in a new place: karate class. Slowly, with the help of a fellow classmate, Mila learns how to stand her ground and how to respect others - and herself.

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."

About the Author

Barbara Dee

Barbara Dee is the author of eleven middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including MY LIFE IN THE FISH TANK (2020) , MAYBE HE JUST LIKES YOU (2019) , EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU (2018) , HALFWAY NORMAL (2017) and STAR-CROSSED (2017) . Her books have earned several starred reviews and have been named to many best-of lists, including the Washington Post's Best Children's Books, the ALA Notable Children's Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten, the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, the Bank Street Best Children's Books, and Project Lit. Barbara lives with her family, their sweet rescue dog Ripley, and naughty cat Luna, in Westchester County, NY.

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