“Eileen Moskowitz-Palma divides her time between novel writing and teaching First Draft from Start to Finish and Writing for Children and Young Adults at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College.
Eileen’s debut Middle Grade novel, Camp Clique, the first book in The Popularity Pact series, was published in April 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic. As a result, all of her in-person events with schools, libraries and bookstores were cancelled. Rather than being discouraged, she created a solution by forming a free virtual writing camp and book club program to serve the kids affected by school closures. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the camps in high demand. She connected with kids from all across the country and caught the attention of institutions like the Providence Children’s Museum, Sarah Lawrence College, the Rhode Island Department of Education, Thalia Kids Book Club Camp based out of Manhattan’s Symphony Space, and the upcoming Orange County Children’s Book Festival. She will continue to serve kids during the 2020-2021 academic year with a variety of virtual writing and book club program options for schools, libraries, and parents. Email her at email@example.com for more information.
Eileen lives in Westchester, NY, with her college sweetheart husband Douglas, their daughter Molly, and their Wire Fox Terrier Oscar, who is one snaggle-tooth away from being a doggy model. ”
The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
School Squad picks up right where Camp Clique left off. Maisy and Bea have endured the agonizing summer before seventh grade at Camp Amelia- together in the Sunflower Bunk. The camp has a huge competition at the end of the six-week session; the Sunflowers are the perennial winners. Bea and Maisy devise a plan where Bea will help Maisy not be a “loser” at camp, if Maisy will help Bea become a member of the coveted popular girls’ group, the “M&M’s.”
Maisy comes home from camp as the school year is about to start and finds out her mom, who’s been away in treatment, is coming home soon. Maisy’s family seems ready for the transition; especially Abby, her gymnast-Olympic driven sister. Mom might make it home for her next gymnastics meet! Maisy is having trouble coping with her mom’s return amidst fears of losing her mother-again. How will she ever be able to trust her mom and be sure she’s telling the truth?
Bea, on the other hand, comes home from camp to find that her recently divorced mom is dating her math teacher and her dad has proposed to his girlfriend, Monica, on Instagram! Her two darling daughters helped, of course. How will Bea find the “end” of this maze? How many roadblocks to happiness can one middle school girl handle?
Eileen Moskowitz-Palmer handles all the Snapchat, Instagram, texting, apps, and any other technology involved in being a seventh grader or parent of one, with all the aplomb of a seasoned middle schooler! She also hits all the emotional highs of receiving a snap from the “Glow up of the Year, or the M&M’s oohing and aahing over Bea’s new hair after the keratin treatment to the lows of Maisy finding out her grandmother has moved in! She will now share a room with her gymnastics obsessed sister; sweaty leotards included. It all feels so real and raw; the anxiety of being accepted, the fear of rejection, the grip of grief over losing a parent, or the heartwarming glow of finding a trustworthy friend.
“I had never felt lonelier than when I sat surrounded by all those fake friends.” Doesn’t that sentiment sum up the “middle school mindset” just perfectly? The Popularity Pact series holds treasures and lessons for all of us-child or parent-those life lessons we learn over-and over again.
Make a “Popularity Pact” – find a young or old reader who would appreciate joining the M&M’s, but also “feeling safe and seen.” 5,000 “likes,” 200 “shares” and 50-star emoji’s! GR