Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl

Rachel Renee Russell
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2010   ISBN: 978-1416980087

Nikki Maxwell has decided that she is a “total dork.” She certainly is not one of CCP (Cute, Cool, and Popular) girls in school. In fact, one of the CCP girls, Mackenzie, particularly enjoys going out of her way to make Nikki miserable. Not only does Mackenzie make fun of Nikki at every opportunity, but she also like to set her up so that Nikki ends up doing things that are embarrassing and humiliating.

Nevertheless, with her two best friends at her side, Nikki is feeling pretty good about herself. She is hoping that Brandon, the boy she likes, will ask her to go to the Halloween dance with him. Then Nikki overhears Mackenzie saying that she is “practically 99.9% sure” that she and Brandon will be going to the dance together. Convinced that Brandon will never ask a dork like her, Nikki agrees to do face painting at a children’s party on Halloween, and she signs up for clean-up duty at the Halloween dance with her two friends.

Of course, hope has a habit of rearing its ugly head, so when Mackenzie invites Nikki to her super fancy birthday party, Nikki decides to go. She spends a lot of money on a nice dress, and she lets herself dream that Brandon - who will be at the birthday party – might ask Nikki to go to the dance with him. Instead, Mackenzie and her friends play a mean trick on Nikki, which then backfires on them. Furious with Nikki, Mackenzie decides to set up Nikki so that everyone in the whole school will think that she is a “dork.”

In this second Dork Diaries title, Nikki once again has to find away to deal with her archenemy, Mackenzie. She discovers that there are times when you cannot deal with all your problems by yourself. There are times when it all right to ask for help.

Young readers are sure to enjoy the chatty and outgoing voice that Nikki uses in her diary entries. The handwritten style text is accompanied by amusing illustrations throughout the book, and the narrative is frequently punctuated by large exclamations of joy, despair, and horror.