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Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life Hardcover – June 2, 2009

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Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life + Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl + Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star (Dork Diaries #3)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Series: Dork Diaries (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Repackage edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416980067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416980063
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (549 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–Fourteen-year-old Nikki J. Maxwell has been awarded a scholarship to a prestigious private middle school as a part of her father's bug extermination contract. Her angst as she deals with the resident mean girl, her embarrassing parents, her crush on the hot boy, and making new friends are all recorded alongside numerous sketches of her life. Although occasionally amusing, Nikki is not a very likable character. She is shallow and self-centered and fails to show any growth in the book, even as she one-ups popular and cruel MacKenzie in the end. In fact, Nikki, who steals her neighbor's hearing aid and plays pranks on her little sister, is somewhat of a mean girl herself. All the other characters are underdeveloped, including Nikki's family and her new BFFs, Chloe and Zoey. Black-and-white drawings, which are often witty, appear throughout the text, which is printed on lined pages as though from a diary. Fans of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams) may enjoy this book, but it's an additional purchase.–Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix Public Library, AZ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Rachel Renée Russell is an attorney who prefers writing tween books to legal briefs. (Mainly because books are a lot more fun and pajamas and bunny slippers aren’t allowed in court.) Rachel lives in Chantilly, Virginia.

More About the Author

Rachel Renee Russell is an attorney who prefers writing children's books to legal briefs. She lives in Aldie, VA.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for girls.
I also liked the message that girls who seem to have it all, sometimes don't; and that it does pay to be a nice girl and a good friend.
Julie Peterson
Was a gift for a 10-year old and she loved the book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Julie Peterson on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I can't believe how much I enjoyed the new middle grade book DORK DIARIES: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-FABULOUS LIFE by Rachel Renee Russell. I guess you could say I was pleasantly surprised by my reaction to this book -- basically, I didn't want to put it down. It was just so much fun to read, and I absolutely couldn't wait to hear what my nine year old daughter thought.

I just adored this book. I loved the character of Nikki and felt that almost all young girls are going to be able to relate to her. She has the "normal" middle school insecurities such as the desire to be popular, wondering who she can trust as a friend, and fear of being laughed at. It's been a long time since I was in eighth grade, but I could definitely relate to being the new girl in school -- it's very hard at that age!

While there were certainly times that I felt Nikki's pain, I'd say for the most part this book was a hoot! Nikki was a terrific character who had a great perspective on her life. I found myself laughing hysterically at her attempts to get an iPhone, and I also thought the scenes with her little sister to be fantastic. (Like Nikki, I had a sister who was a good bit younger.) And her parents....well, as a parent I probably shouldn't have thought they were so funny, but the way Nikki described their actions was hilarious. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I laughed out loud while reading this story.

Since DORK DIARIES is supposed to read like Nikki's actual diary, the book had a really cool format with interesting fonts and amazing illustrations. I loved the look of this book and thought that Nikki's drawings really enhanced the story and allowed the reader to better understand Nikki. Ms. Russell is not only a fantastic writer but also a terrific artist!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My favorite book is Dork Diary. I like this book, because it tells all about a girl's life at her new school. There is nothing that I don't like. I think you should read this book if you're a girl. It tells about girl troubles in life. It has up to one hundred or more pages, and if you don't like reading that much you shouldn't pick this book. You can find this book at the library or the book store, and if you really want to read this book, you should ask your mom right now to speed down to the book store! If you get in a fight, because it's the last book in the shelf ask your mom to help you fight. Thank you for reading what my favorite book is, and remember - read more books!

By Ondrea
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Darlene on May 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Monie Garcia VINE VOICE on March 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Eighth grader Nikki Maxwell candidly shares with us the journaling of her no-so-fabulous days at her new private school Westchester Day School. Nikki's father, being the new exterminator, earned her a scholarship to a school where she doesn't fit in with the rich and snobby CCP (Cute, Cool & Popular) clique led by the snarky Mackenzie.

Nikki knows that in order to dazzle the new crowd into accepting her she needs a new iPhone but her `rents stubbornly refuse to buy her one. Her Mom even goes so far as to tell her that if she really wants one she'll have to save up and buy it with her own money. Ugh!

Just when everything seems to be doomed the school announces a school-wide art competition where the first prize is $500!! Nikki knows she's totally got this since she's an artist with plenty art camp experience. Nikki runs to the school office to sign up and who does she run into??? None other than Mackenzie. No way is she brave enough to compete against the queen bee of WDS. Can she turn one disaster after another into triumph?

Dork Diaries is simply fabulous! I've been in Nikki's shoes a time or two as I changed schools 8 different times while growing up so I can totally sympathize with being new girl on the block. At least my Dad didn't drive me to school with a giant roach on top of his van.

The entire book is Nikki's diary filled with hilarious stories and amazing drawings (also illustrated by Rachel Renee Russell). It's the perfect read for young girls who agonize over not being part of the in-crowd like I used to. Nikki goes from the zero to a hero and then finally settles nicely into her niche as a typical teen. I recommend this read for all YA lovers.
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