Why Is He Spreading Rumors about Me?

A Chapter Book to help young readers gain an understanding of how hurtful rumors can be.

Author: Jennifer Licate
Illustrator: Suzanne Beaky

NEW TITLE - Available in October 2022

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Mateo is at the center of a wild rumor that is swiftly spreading around school. He’s freaked out and frustrated. He can’t seem to stop it or shut it down. What’s worse, the rumor is a lie started by someone Mateo thought was a friend.  

The whispers began, like they so often do in middle school, during the lunch period. Mateo and his longtime friend Lily were laughing and joking with each other. When Harris saw them together, he didn’t see two friends innocently goofing around. He saw a lovey-dovey couple who MUST BE boyfriend and girlfriend. Or at least that’s what he wants everyone else to think.  

Harris wastes little time telling his buddies about Mateo and his “girlfriend.” Soon that rumor is all over school. Mateo gets hassled by his friends. Lily feels disrespected. Both are annoyed and uncomfortable, and eventually stop speaking to each other. Are they going to let the gossip and teasing destroy their friendship? Or can Mateo convince Harris to finally admit to everyone the actual truth?  

Why is He Spreading Rumors about Me? is a gripping, fast-paced story that explores the insecurities, fears, obsessions, and anxieties of middle schoolers. As Mateo struggles to salvage his friendship with Lily and put an end to all the gossip, young readers gain an understanding of how hurtful and far reaching a rumor’s ripple effects can be.

 Educators and group leaders can supplement this chapter book with a Teacher and Counselor Activity Guide. The guide provides self-reflection questions and group activities to thoughtfully engage readers with the content, encouraging them to think critically about the frustration, embarrassment, and alienation that result when rumors are repeated.  

Award-winning author and school counselor Jennifer Licate adds another powerful story to her popular Navigating Friendships series of chapter books. 

The series also includes:


About the Author

JENNIFER LICATE is an award-winning children’s book author who has worked as a school counselor for over a decade. She currently splits her time between two schools and enjoys the dynamic of working with children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Counseling children of all ages (as well as raising two kids of her own) has taught Jennifer a universal truth: all children want to be loved, valued and respected for the unique individuals they are. She channels this truth and her love of counseling and creativity to craft children's books whose aim is to help children of all ages navigate the challenges of growing up with stories that speak directly to them.

Published by Boys Town Press

ISBN: 978-0-938510-68-0

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