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Kid Konnection: Dork Diaries

December 17, 2010

When eight grader Nikki Maxwell’s family moves, she is able to attend Westchester Country Day School on a scholarship, since her dad got the school’s pest control contract.  The only problem is she doesn’t quite fit in there.  After all, she’s the only kid in the whole middle school who doesn’t have a cell phone, not to mention name brand clothes.  To make matters worse, she’s assigned the locker next to the most popular and chicest girl in school, Mackenzie.  Nikki hates Mackenzie, even though there’s a small part of her that wants to be Mackenzie.

When Nikki tries to talk to her parents about her problems, her mom’s response is to buy her a diary and her dad’s response is to leave her encouraging notes around the house.  Nikki thinks their efforts are lame, but finds herself writing and drawing in the diary.  Along the way, she discovers what’s important to her and learns the meaning of friendship.

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell is an absolutely adorable book for middle grade girls!  I loved this book because it does such a wonderful job of capturing the middle school years.  Nikki doesn’t belong to the cool crowd, but let’s face it, most kids don’t.  She desperately wants to fit in, but sometimes it seems the harder she tries, the worse things become.  It’s not until she learns to be true to herself does she find her place.

Chloe and Zoey befriend Nikki and for a while things seem to be going well.  The three of them come up with a plan to get to go to New York with the school librarian for National Library Week, but things go awry when it looks like the cool kids have accepted Chloe and Zoey, but not Nikki.  Thankfully, they figure out it’s not so great to be in that crowd when it doesn’t include Nikki.

When Nikki gets frustrated or hurt she doesn’t always fight back.  She uses her diary to vent and write the things she wished she’d said, but didn’t have the nerve too.   I think just about everyone can relate to those feelings, especially young girls who are still learning how to assert themselves.

You’ll want to get Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life in the hands of all the middle school girls you know – they’ll enjoy the writing and the darling drawings!

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2010 5:18 am

    I think my girls might like this one. Thanks for telling us about it.

  2. December 17, 2010 6:42 am

    Booking Daughter and I both loved this book. It was a huge hit at the school book fair too! Can’t wait for the next one in the series.

  3. December 17, 2010 7:26 am

    This sounds great. I wonder how it compares to “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” (which coincidentally is reviewed by Jenny’s Books today) because it sounds like a similar theme but in high school, not middle school.

  4. December 17, 2010 8:05 am

    The Girl absolutely loved this book and insists I must read it for myself.

  5. Veens permalink
    December 17, 2010 8:47 am

    Wow, I think after the Diary of the Wimpy Kid, I will love this as well. 🙂 I think many of us will relate with Nikki.

  6. Darlyn permalink
    December 17, 2010 9:14 am

    Why wasn’t this book around when I was in middle school? It sounds awesome. Great review. 🙂

    • December 17, 2010 10:15 pm

      I agree!.. where were these books when I needed them most?!

  7. December 17, 2010 9:49 am

    I bet Melissa would really connect with this story, as it seems she is having a little trouble fitting in in school right now. I saw this book the other day when I was volunteering at the book sale, but didn’t pick it up. I am thinking that I need to stop by the store and add this one to her stocking this year. Thanks for the excellent review. This is a book I really want to buy now!!

  8. December 17, 2010 11:10 am

    This book sounds really good. I think I would enjoy reading it too!

  9. December 17, 2010 11:13 am

    This sounds like an excellent book for young girls and their moms. Terrific review, Kathy!

  10. December 17, 2010 12:00 pm

    Aw, fun! I know quite a few middle school gals who would love this for Christmas.

  11. December 17, 2010 1:31 pm

    This book sounds like it would be an excellent Christmas gift for my girls!

  12. December 17, 2010 1:40 pm

    It does sound like a good book for kids 🙂

  13. December 17, 2010 1:54 pm

    Diary-formatted novels with doodle illustrations are a big hit with lots of kids I teach. It really connects with reluctant readers & are lots of fun 🙂

  14. December 17, 2010 2:55 pm

    On the outside, it kind of seems like a rip-off of the Wimpy Kid books but for girls. Glad to hear they are worthwhile.

  15. December 17, 2010 3:39 pm

    This looks great — now Ava has to grow, grow, grow! 🙂

  16. December 17, 2010 6:48 pm

    I use this on in my class all the time. The author’s daughter (who also helped write the books and illustrates them) works with me. Kinda adds a cool element for the children in my room 🙂

  17. December 18, 2010 5:55 am

    I added this series to my library collection based on Bonnie’s (Red Lady) review last year. They are always checked out!! Great review 😀

  18. December 18, 2010 2:13 pm

    My daughter and I are currently reading a Dear Canada series book which is in diary format and she absolutely loves it! Thanks for reviewing this one. I will definitely check it out with her.

  19. December 18, 2010 8:11 pm

    Lovely review! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I love Rachel…and the second one is out now too!

  20. December 19, 2010 6:33 am

    This sounds like a keeper too. Another A plus review and this is the time where I think … wow I wish I had a little girl.. but wait.. maybe I can get this one and keep it until my little niece turns 13….

  21. December 20, 2010 1:41 pm

    I loved reading bits of this one out loud to The Girl…It was so much fun!

  22. December 20, 2010 8:21 pm

    I wish I knew a middle school girl to give this one to.

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