Maybe He Just Likes You

by Barbara Dee

Maybe He Just Likes You


Themes



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.

  • Ages 11-13

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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Tight

by Torrey Maldonado

Tight


Themes


Peer Pressure Toxic Masculinity Bullying

Lately Bryan’s been feeling it in all kinds of ways. He knows what’s tight for him in a good way–reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama’s hard to escape where he’s from, and that gets him wound up tight. And now Bryan’s new friend Mike is challenging him to have fun in ways that are crazy risky. At first, it’s a rush following Mike, hopping turnstiles, subway surfing, and getting into all kinds of trouble. But Bryan never feels right acting wrong. So which way will he go when he understands that drama is so not his style? Fortunately his favorite comic heroes shed light on his dilemma, reminding him that he has power–the power to choose his friends and to stand up for what he believes is right.

  • Ages 11-13

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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The Prince and The Dressmaker​

by Jen Wang

The Prince and The Dressmaker


Themes


Gender Norms Toxic Masculinity Bullying

​Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:
Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion! Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend?

  • Ages 9-13

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros

House on Mango Street


Themes


Immigration Sexual Assault Girl Empowerment Domestic Violence Sexism Consent Gender Norms Cultural Norms

Popular among young adults and mature readers alike, The House on Mango Street is the story of a young Latina growing up in Chicago. Told through a story of vignettes, the story is both heartbreaking and joyful, and has touched countless readers.

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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Afar

by Leila del Duca, Kit Seaton

Afar


Themes


Afrofuturism Healthy Masculinity Girl Empowerment Gender Norms Inclusion and Diversity

Boetema discovers she can astrally project into new worlds and possess the bodies of people on other planets. At the same time, her troublemaker brother finds himself in a scary situation after eavesdropping on an illegal deal between business tycoons and their cyborg bodyguard. Boetema accidentally hurts someone while in another girl’s body, and the siblings must work together to solve the problems they’ve created.

  • Ages 9-13

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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