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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The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X


Themes


Spiritual Abuse Sexual Harrassment Girl Empowerment Coming of Age

Xiomara Batista lives in Harlem, where she has just discovered slam poetry. She uses slam to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world, where she feels unheard and unable to hide. After growing new curves, Xiomara learns to let her fists do the talking — but she still feels like she has plenty to stay, and fills pages with poems. After Xiomara is invited to join the slam poetry club at her school, she’s afraid to join without her mami finding out, but she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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Hearts Unbroken

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Hearts Unbroken


Themes


Racism Sexual Harassment Indigenous/ Native Rights

Louise Wolfe has just broken up with her first real boyfriend after he disrespects Native people. She’d rather focus on family, friends, and working on her school’s newspaper. Along with photojournalist Joey Kairouz, Louise finds herself with a huge story: the school musical director’s inclusive casting of The Wizard of Oz sparks backlash in their mostly-white Kansas town. While tensions rise in town and at school, a romance between Lou and Joey emerges. But will Lou break Joey’s heart trying to protect her own?

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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