Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Popularity Pact: Camp Clique: Book One

Palma, Eileen Moskowitz. The Popularity Pact: Camp Clique: Book One 
April 14th 2020 by Running Press Kids
Copy provided by the publisher

Bea has always gone to the same camp, and she loves her group of friends. They are especially important because she spent 6th grade at odds with her longtime best friend, Maisy, who threw her over for a spot in the popular M&M's group. When Maisy ends up at the same camp, Bea is angry. Maisy isn't too thrilled herself-- she's sent off because things at home are terribly wrong, especially with her mother. Maisy has many issues with anxiety, but luckily there is a therapist at camp with whom she can talk. The girls get assigned to the same bunk, and the counselors make it very clear there is no switching. The biggest problem after the evident interpersonal one is that Maisy is not athletic, and Bea and her camp friends are bound and determined to win the Cup awarded for an athletic competition, especially since their arch rival is a bunk filled with mean girls. Eventually, Bea and Maisy come up with a plan-- Bea will help Maisy fit in with the girls at camp, and when they get home, Maisy will get Bea into the M&M's. Neither will be an easy feat, especially since the girls are both dealing with other problems.
Strengths: There has been an increase in books about summer camp lately, and they are fairly popular. Friend drama is a subject that always appeals to my readers, and Maisy's experience is especially on trend. I don't want to give away the problem with her mother, but it is one that is increasingly common, and Maisy's anxiety also mirrors a growing trend in the population. I liked Bea's supportive family, and Maisy's was supportive as well, even if they didn't bow to her pressure to leave camp. The inclusion of a therapist was interesting, and is apparently fairly common. Since Maisy was very doubtful about getting Bea into her friend group at school, the sequel should be interesting.
Weaknesses: It seemed unlikely that Bea would have made NO other friends at school, since she did well with the girls at camp, but it certainly added to the drama.
What I really think: While there was nothing really new in this book, it was well written and engaging, and there is always a need for more books with friend drama.
Ms. Yingling

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