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!