Sunday, November 1, 2020

Book Review: School Squad (The Popularity Pact #2)


School Squad - Eileen Moskowitz-Palma

Picking up where The Popularity Pact: Camp Clique left off, the second book in this exciting duology finds former best friends Bea and Maisy preparing for the new school year. Bea kept up her end of the bargain, getting Maisy "in" with the girls at camp. Now it's Maisy's turn to fulfill her promise to ingratiate Bea with the popular girls. When Bea is accepted into this new inner circle, she begins to lose sight of what true friendship is all about. As Bea seems prepared to sacrifice anything to be "cool," Maisy realizes there's more to life than hanging out with a bunch of mean girls. Can she convince Bea that the popularity pact was a mistake? Can these former friends find their way back to each other?
I normally don't post on the weekends, as you know, but I have so many great books in October that I just have to talk about so aren't you lucky?! I feel like it has been awhile since I've showcased a middle grade book and the holidays are coming- this is a perfect series to get started on for anyone ages 8-12 for sure. Especially girls. Girls will totally get the stories and they will be able to relate to the characters. The authors does a great job making these characters realistic to make the reader feel like they are in this middle school trying to fit in with the M&M's. 

You definitely need to read book one, Camp Clique, because that is where Maisy and Bea meet but the start of the popularity pact happens, and you need to know about that before you get into this one. I mean, I guess if you HAD to, I guess it could be a stand alone, but if I was going to purchase this as a gift, just get both. 

The best part about these books is that it isn't just fluff about wanting to be popular and dealing with middle school AND middle school cliques, these books also touch on real life issues that kids are facing everywhere. We have one girl dealing with a parent who is addicted to drugs and fresh from rehab, and struggling with feelings about that. We also have another girl who has parents are divorcing but also moving forward with new relationships and that's confusing and difficult. Both girls are feeling overlooked and in very different ways, they have the same feelings in common. I loved how complex their characters, and individual stories, were and it made me stay with this book. As a mom to teenagers and younger, this had me nodding my head because this is EXACTLY how kids are. Truly. You can hardly get mad at the sometimes awful things they do because they have valid reasons and it seems completely rational to them. 

I really enjoyed this one and if you are a third, fourth, or fifth grade teacher or librarian? This would be such a great book to have on your classroom or library shelf, no doubt. It would be such a great read especially for a child who is maybe struggling with middle school transition, or changes in friend groups, or maybe just struggling with being this weird tween age, they will really identify with one (or both) of the girls in this story. 

A huge thank you to Running Press Kids, Eileen Moskowitz-Palma, and Kathleen Carter Communications for having me on this tour, I am so glad I got to see what part two for Bea and Maisy played out! 


Why Girls Are Weird said...

How cute is this!?

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This looks like such a fun series! I could see my oldest niece enjoying these - she's nine.