Posted in Fiction, Humor, Middle School, Tween Reads

Book Review: Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So Popular Party Girl by Rachel Renee Russell (Aladdin, 2010)

Recommended for ages 9-12

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl has been hailed as “Wimpy Kid for girls”, and I’m inclined to agree. The book is writtten in similar format – a middle-schooler’s journal – and is complete with illustrations and “OMG!” moments in a pre-teen’s life. Nikki, the protagonist, is not the slacker that Wimpy Kid Greg is, but is definitely not in the cool crowd. She and her friends Chloe and Zoey wish they could be in the CCP (Cute, Cool and Popular) crowd, but Nikki’s nemesis, Mackenzie – a spoiled, rich, mean girl – will do anything and everything to ruin Nikki’s life – including canceling the school Halloween dance just to make Nikki look bad. Nikki and her friends need to pull together to make it happen, and Nikki hopes to get the attention of her crush, Brandon Roberts. The only trouble is, Mackenzie has her sights set on Brandon, too.

The book is fun. Nikki is a vibrant narrator, who speaks fluent middle-school – girls will love her. She writes from a very female point of view, as opposed to the more gender-friendly Wimpy Kid, so I don’t know if boys will get on board with the series (especially as this book has a purple cover). The black and white drawings make you believe you are looking at a ‘tween girl’s diary, as do the script and handwriting fonts. All around, a fun book with a spunky heroine that girls will enjoy – and grown-up girls will laugh along with the more cringe-worthy memories of their own middle school years.

The Dork Diaries website features information on the Dork Diaries books and has a countdown clock for the next book’s release. There is a link to the music inspired by the book, and the Nikki has a blog where she recaps memories (from the books), links fan videos, and features fun contests and printables.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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