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Tales from a NOT-SO-Popular Party Girl
Dork Diaries #2
by Rachel Renée Russell
AR Test, Good for Reluctant Readers, Graphic Novel
Middle school can be traumatizing for any girl. But for Nikki, middle school is a nightmare. Nikki dreams about going to the Halloween dance with Brandon, but so does popular mean girl MacKenzie. Then in a strange turn of events, MacKenzie resigns as the dance chairperson and so do all of the cool kids, leaving Nikki and her two friends in charge. Now Nikki and her friends must decide if they should cancel the dance or if they can plan it all on their own.
To add to the drama of Nikki’s life, her little sister has a tooth fairy phobia that has become Nikki’s problem. Her parents drag her to a funeral where she has an uncontrollable fit of hiccups. And to cap it all off, she has to dress as a rat at a little kid party and paint faces—on the same night of the Halloween dance.
Dork Diaries is written in the form of a diary, which allows Nikki’s thoughts and feelings to take center stage. The diary contains a lot of text talk such as BTW and OMG. Plus, there are many references to pop culture stars such as Jessica Simpson and Tyra Banks. Although Nikki’s days are filled with funny events, the books show a stereotypical junior high full of mean girls, boy drama, and cool kid drama.
Throughout the book, there are cute drawings that add to the storyline. Because the story is written in diary format, most paragraphs consist of one to two sentences and the vocabulary is typical of a preteen. Although the story is entertaining, there is no educational value.
- When Nikki thinks Mackenzie is going to the dance with Brandon she says, “She was buying a new lip gloss JUST for Brandon. I knew what THAT meant.”
- When Nikki was embarrassed she thinks, “I was so angry I wanted to grab them both by their necks and squeeze until their little heads exploded.”
- A cool girl purposely bumps Nikki’s food plate, which splashes chocolate onto Nikki’s dress.
Drugs and Alcohol
- The narrator uses words like crud, craptastic, dagnabbit, darn, OMG and what the . . .”