Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell is a delightful book for middle school kids, especially girls (9-13), but truth be told I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m a whole lot older! It’s full of all kinds of great little sketches and doodles and is written in a diary format with entries by 14 year old, eighth grader, Nikki Maxwell.
Nikki is attending a new private school courtesy of her father getting her a scholarship as he’s the new exterminator for the school, a fact that causes Nikki never ending embarrassment and horror at being discovered. Now Nikki isn’t exactly private school material and she knows it. She thinks to fit in she needs a new cell phone, new clothes and very likely a new family as hers certainly can’t afford all those things. Above all, her parents or ‘rents as she calls them just don’t get it! She can’t fit in at a private school-she’s just not one of them so who are they kidding?
Fast forward to the first day of school and of course, the always most popular girl who this time happens to be the rich, pretty and ‘mean’ Mackenzie. Nikki is torn between hating her and wanting to be like her and have her as a friend. After all, that would put her in line with the popular kids, the CCP-Cute, Cool & Popular. Even worse, Nikki’s locker is right beside Mackenzie’s so she has to tolerate Miss Perfect and her attitude every day. Then came the art competition which Nikki had been intimidated by Mackenzie not to enter. Nikki is a really talented artist already and deep down she knows she can do well. Finally, she throws caution to the wind and enters but that ends up being a whole other story too.
I should also mention that Dork Diaries is downright funny. I found myself laughing out loud throughout. There’s the cute little sayings like GGG-ing which is giggling, gossiping, & glossing. Also , throughout the book, Nikki screams or says things inside her head-always so one else hears but her. How many of us do that? I still do that. Added to that are the cartoons which really add so much to the telling of Nikki’s story.
What I loved most about this book is how real Nikki is-she’s a normal 14 year old girl with all the worries and fears that come with it. I love how this book relates the fact that you don’t have to be popular and belong to the in-crowd to have fun and have friends. You can carve out your own little space in the world. Yes, it’s a struggle but it can be done. This is why young girls are going to love this book-because it’s true to life and maybe even very close to what they’re experiencing at that very time. There’s maybe even a hint of first love which is really sweet.
Perfect reading for a young girl or for a mother/daughter read. I found it really took me back to memories of being in grade school myself. Let’s face it, for most of us it’s a rough time. We’re just learning about ourselves and really trying to find our place in it all while lacking the self confidence to achieve it. This books shows girls that it’s ok not to be the popular one. You can be just as happy if not happier just by being yourself!
Check out the book trailer for Dork Diaries…
You can buy Dork Diaries on June 2 here in the US and here in Canada. Please make sure to join me tomorrow when Rachel Renee Russell pops by with a guest post and a giveaway you’re not going to want to miss!
It’s books like this one that make me wish I had a daughter that I could read with. LOL–that probably won’t be for several several years. 🙂 It’s a tough lesson to learn to be happy with just yourself and not worry about popularity–one I didn’t learn until I was way past high school, but it’s a good lesson. Sounds like Diary of a Wimpy Kid–have you read those books?
Lol, yes if I get a daughter this would be a book I would gladly give to her 🙂
Sandy Nawrot says
My daughter is going on twelve, and is a tough time to grow up right now. Kids are downright mean, especially the girls. It is so hard watching my daughter try to find her way. I will definitely be in line for the giveaway!
Scrap girl says
This book definitely sounds like one my girls would love. they like the diary format for books.
Yep, this is definitely going to be a book my daughter will enjoy (I’ve already won a copy and can’t wait to surprise her with it!!) Glad to hear you liked it too, Dar. 🙂
This book is on my list for my 9 and 11 yo daughters. Thanks for your review which reminded me about this book! 🙂
This reminds me of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Even the cover is similar to the other series. I’m stoked though (yeah I still use that word) because my daughter won’t do Wimpy Kid because “it’s for boys.” This would be great for her although she is much younger.
I’m going to get this for my daughter. She isn’t as old as the main character, but I can see the same things happen to girls her age. Thanks for the review!
Ms. Lucy says
Excellent review Dar, thanks:) And it’s a book my daughter is going to need one day soon. I’m ticking this one-yes. Thanks:)
Jenny Girl says
What a cute book! Good review Dar.
Sounds like a good book! I will read it this summer. This book might make for a good after school program book club read.
this sounds like fun, i’ll have to look for a copy for my daughter.
sounds very cute, great review!
Dar, your review has Lysse wanting to read the book!Its on our list for 6/2. She also liked the trailer. She wanted you to know that Buddy is cute!:) She’s read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and liked them a lot.
I don’t think I can resist the title – it alone would grab me, and your review clinches it.
This series looks like so much fun. I wish I had a girl that age to share it with.
This looks so incredible! Like Ti mentioned it reminds me of Wimpy Kid, which I think is great – girls need something fun and different to read. I've actually already recommended this book to some of my customers because I'm positive it will be terrific 🙂
What a cute trailer! I bet I would have loved this as a tween.
Trish, I haven't read Diary of a Wimpy Kid but after reading this one I'm thinking about it. I agree on learning the lesson that being popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be. It's funny though because I think we struggle with that our whole lives not just when we're young.
Sandy, I can't even imagine how tough it might be for a young girl growing up now. It was bad enough sometimes back when I was.
Wanda, it would be so cool if you could post your daughter's thoughts on the book. Are you going to read it too?
Ti, your daughter is such a character. She always gives me a giggle.
Fe, tell Lysse Buddy says thank you. I bet she'd just love this book!
Belle, that is a great title isn't it? lol.
Joanne, I agree. This book is fun and different and I think on that basis alone very appealing. The thought that a Dork can be happy and do well is such a positive thing for young girls today.
Everyone else, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. If you do have a chance to read this book please let me know. I'd love to hear other's thoughts on it.
Goodness am I behind! I just picked up Diary of a Wimpy Kid for my brother (just turned 13) and browsed through the first chapter and told him he HAS to let me borrow it. 🙂 Curiously enough today I've been thinking about blogging and popularity. I guess those "problems" or feelings are always going to be pervasive no matter how old we get.
The Girl loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, so I bet she'd love this one. Her birthday is coming up, and this sounds like a great gift.
Diary of an Eccentric