Book Review: Dork Diaries

By Cecelia Davis, Kid Editor-in-Chief, age 11

One of the serials that I really, really enjoy is Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell. I will tell you about the first book in the series called Tales From a Not-So Fabulous Life. It is a really good book about a girl named Nikki Maxwell who is starting at a new school called Westchester Country Day, a fancy school with a Starbucks in the cafeteria, on a bug extermination scholarship. Her dad owns a bug extermination business called Maxwell’s Bug Extermination. Nikki gets to go to school there because her dad is the exterminator at her school. The story takes place in modern times and is an illustrated story told through Nikki’s point of view as she tries to survive eighth grade.
The top ten main characters in this book are Nikki Maxwell (the main
character who loves art and gets a diary from her mom so that she can
write about her feelings during eighth grade), Chloe Garcia (one of the
friends Nikki makes who is a romantic girl with a great sense of humor),
Zoey Franklin (another one of the friends Nikki makes who is a smart girl
that loves to read), Brianna Maxwell (Nikki’s funny younger sister who has
a hand puppet friend named Miss Penelope), MacKenzie Hollister (the
mean, snobby, and lip-gloss-addicted girl who has a locker right next to
Nikki’s), Brandon Roberts (the kind and shy boy in Nikki’s biology class
who likes photography and is Nikki’s crush), Jessica Hunter (MacKenzie’s
best friend who is almost as mean and snobby as MacKenzie), Nikki’s mom
(she gave Nikki a diary to share her feelings in, which Nikki is very
embarrassed about, because she thinks that only dorks have diaries),
Nikki’s dad (he drives around town in his Maxwell’s Bug Extermination van
that has a hideous plastic roach on the top of it named Max), and Nikki’s
grandma (she is obsessed with the TV show The Price Is Right and she is
a little crazy but also very sweet).
During the story, Nikki becomes enrolled at Westchester Country Day
middle school. Nikki’s mom gives her a diary where she can write her
feelings, but Nikki doesn’t like that idea. She thinks diaries are for dorks,
and she’d prefer a new cell phone so that she can fit in with the CCPs at her school. That stands for Cute, Cool, & Popular. Nikki makes friends with
Chloe and Zoey and becomes enemies with MacKenzie Hollister. She also
becomes famous at her school for giving the kids temporary tattoos with
her gel pen. People like them and Chloe and Zoey start to make Nikki
come to school early to draw tattoos. At first, Nikki is excited about getting
to work with some of the CCP kids, but soon the excitement dissolves as
she begins to feel like she is forced to do the job.
I like this book because Nikki is a great and realistic character with
likeable friends. The book is funny and enjoyable, especially for people who
like graphic novels. You will cheer for Nikki, Chloe, and Zoey as they
navigate their way through middle school. The book is for ages nine to
thirteen and tells the story of wonderful characters. You will enjoy the whole story and I highly recommend it.