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Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life Hardcover – June 2, 2009

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Dork Diaries 1: 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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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.
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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; First Edition edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416980067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416980063
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (649 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rachel Renée Russell is a #1 New York Times Best Selling author and attorney who prefers writing children's books to legal briefs. The Dork Diaries series has received two Children's Choice Awards For Book of the Year (5th/6th Grade Division) and a Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award nomination for Best Book. Rachel was the recipient of the 2014 Milner Award For Children's Literature.

The series now has almost 20 million copies in print with translation into 34 languages worldwide. Movie rights have been optioned by Lionsgate Summit films with a tentative release date in 2016. Rachel resides in Northern Virginia. Visit the exciting Dork Diaries web site at www.DorkDiaries.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By T. Adlam TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dork Diaries was a complete impulse buy. After leafing through a few pages and deciding to take it home (mostly because I thought the drawings were cute), I zipped through it in an afternoon.

The story recounts, in gory detail, how fourteen year old Nikki Maxwell is adjusting to life in her new school. She comes from an average middle class family, but the school is an upper class haven; she only attended because her father received the pest extermination contract and cajoled a scholarship for his daughter. Of course, if anyone--especially MacKenzie, the uber-rich mean girl and leader of the CCP (Cute, Cool & Popular crowd)--found out that she was the daughter of the man driving around town with a GINORMOUS cockroach on his van, her life would be over before it even began.

Nikki's mother, in an attempt to open her daughter's lines of communication, gets her a diary. Of course, Nikki was expecting a new iPhone, so she had a minor meltdown. But as she warms up to the idea of writing in a diary, we come to see who Nikki is as a person, and ultimately, what matters most to her. She's a multi-dimensional (and far from perfect) character, which made her charming.

She was artistic, creative, sometimes self-centered, and sometimes self-conscious. I found myself relating because people don't always see the forest for the trees, and we become paranoid that our friends aren't being true friends, that the world truly will end if we don't fit in with the popular people, and lose sight of what's important. And we watch as she matures through her various experiences and learns valuable lessons: the grass isn't always greener on the other side, be true to yourself, don't judge a book by its cover, and running away from problems won't solve them.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Redlady on August 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dork Diaries: Tales from a NOT-SO Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell is a hilarious look at middle school from a girls eye view. I adored this book and read it in one sitting and I can easily imagine a middle school girl doing the same.

Nikki, the main character, is 14 years old and an eighth-grader at a "new" private school and she is the "new" girl in town. That is always so hard and many girls will relate to this. Nikki desperately wants an i-phone so that she can be "cool" and accepted by the other girls. She does some hilarious things along the way in trying to be cool. Her mother tries to understand and gives her a diary to help her adjust to her new school. This is definitely now what Nikki thinks is cool but she ends up filling it with her writings and drawings. The story is told in Nikki's voice through daily diary entries complete with wonderful whimsical drawings, sketches, doodles and comic strips all drawn by Nikki. These drawings are illustrated by the author Rachel Renee Russell, she's a very talented lady.

I laughed along with Nikki and felt her pain and awkward moments as well. We all go through those growing up and Ms. Russell honed in on typical challenges that girls of middle school would face such as peer pressure, being popular and accepted, finding your identity and who your "true" friends are and even dealing with your first crush. Nikki got herself into some sticky situations and was able to figure her way out with her wits and talents as well as her friends support. She has to face down the popular girl who humilites her and not be intimidated and that takes a lot of strength for a young girl.

Nikki seems like a typical teenager and although she feels like a dork, in reality she is not.
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