Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dork Diaries: Tales from a not-so-fabulous life

Dork Diaries: Tales from a not-so-fabulous life

Rachel Renee Russell
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2009   ISBN: 978-1416980063

Nikki Maxwell's life has taken a definite turn for the worse. She has recently moved and is going to a new school. She is friendless and, to make matters worse, the school bully, MacKenzie, is enjoying making Nikki feel a miserable as possible.

Nikki desperately wants to belong and she tries very hard to fit in. Of course the fact that she doesn't have a cell phone, doesn't have a closet full of the latest fashions, and isn't one of the CCP (cute, cool and popular) girls, means that she is at a serious disadvantage.

Then things start to look up. Nikki starts to get to know Chloe and Zoey. Admittedly these two are scared of balls and are completely book mad, but at least they don't treat Nikki badly. Then Brandon, a boy whom Nikki thinks is gorgeous, actually talks to her, and he even tells her that she is a gifted artist. Nikki is in heaven. Perhaps her new life if not so bad.

Of course, good things never last, and soon Nikki is struggling more than ever. Why does growing up have to be so painful?

In this funny and highly entertaining title, Rachel Renee Russell presents Nikki's diary as if Nikki herself wrote and illustrated it. Readers who are facing their own teenage battles will appreciate how well the author gets inside the head of a young teen who wants so much to be liked. Finding a place where you feel comfortable with who you are is never easy, especially when you are young. Using humor and with an appreciation of how a teenage girl feels, Rachel Rennee Russell gives teens a story that they can truly connect with.