Bulldog Library

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life

on March 10, 2013

YA F Russell    •    AR Reading Level: 5.4    •    AR Points: 5.0    •    Quiz #132957

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Nikki is starting her eighth grade year at a new private school.  She is there on a scholarship that her father got because he is the school’s exterminator.  She desperately wants to fit in with the Cute, Cool, & Popular (CCP) clique, but she can’t afford a cell phone and she doesn’t have the right clothes.  She feels doomed to forever be a social outcast.  To make matters worse, the most popular girl in school, MacKenzie, quickly becomes Nikki’s nemesis when Nikki mistakenly thinks MacKenzie is inviting her to her party.  Will life at this new school ever get any better?

Dork Diaries is written in the form of a diary.  The story is not told in chapters; rather, the story is presented through dated diary entries.    Each entry is it own story of Nikki’s day.  Together, these entries feel like a series of vignettes with little overarching plot to pull them together.  It is not until you reach the end of the book that these entries are tied together to reveal the moral of the story.

At the beginning of this book, Nikki is vapid, shallow, and rather unpleasant.  Through the course of this book, Nikki grows as a character.  She places less importance on possessions and popularity and grows to understand that her true friends like her for who she is, not for what she has.

Genre: Comedy  •  Interest Level: grades 5-8

Russell, R. R. (2009). Dork Diaries: tales from a not-so-fabulous life. New York, NY: Aladdin.

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