Camp Clique (Book One of The Popularity Pact)

Eileen Moskowitz-Palma

Running Press Kids

Bea and Maisy are former best friends. Maisy joined a group of snobby girls in sixth grade and forgot all about her old pal Bea for the entire year. Now summer has arrived and lonely Bea is excited to go to Camp Amelia and see her good friends there—but wouldn’t you know it? Maisy arrives at camp and is placed in Bea’s bunkhouse! Worse yet, it’s a sports camp, and Maisy is an anxiety-prone non-athlete.

. . . a coming of age story . . .

Bea and the other girls fear that Maisy will ruin their chance at winning the annual sports competition and make their six weeks miserable. On the other hand, Maisy is terrified to swim in the lake or cross the ropes obstacle course and uncomfortable being around Bea after treating her so coldly. Maisy has been hiding a secret—one that is causing her and her family great pain—which explains her cruel behavior at schoolEventually Bea realizes it’s time to forgive and help Maisy make friends with the other campers. The catch is that Maisy must help Bea join the snobby girls’ group when they return to school. Thus, the Popularity Pact is born.

While it’s essentially a coming of age story, it’s difficult to determine the exact target reading audience for Camp Clique and its series. Maisy and Bea are said to be middle schoolers, but they often use psychology terms that many adults would not be familiar with, and all of them seem to have private therapists, take luxury vacations and have surfeit of money for private lessons, designer clothes, etc. Also, there are many upscale product references to name brand items, clothing lines, stores, services and activities through out the narrative that could be alienating to most young readers from working class families. Therefore, public school librarians might want to think twice before placing these books on their shelves.