Check out our review of the beloved children's book series the Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell, and discover why so many kids around the world love these books.
Dork Diaries reviewed
Dork Diaries is a beloved series of children‘s books that has captivated the hearts of young readers worldwide.
Written by Rachel Renee Russell, the graphic novel follows the journal entries of the main character Nikki Maxwell as she navigates the vagaries of middle school, including mean girls, first crushes, and BFF drama. With 15 titles in the series, fans have been able to follow Nikki’s journey through friendship, family life, and love.
This article discusses the series and shares more information on the author and book titles, including Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life and Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl.
Dork Diaries in a nutshell
Nikki Maxwell is far from popular. She is a total dork who doesn’t fit in anywhere, and her life before she moves to a new school seems like it is going nowhere. But Nikki has high hopes that at this new school, she might have a chance to make some friends and possibly even leave behind her dorky ways. In the New York Times bestselling series by Rachel Renée Russell, you get to follow Nikki’s life through sketches, doodles, and diary entries as she navigates her new school environment.
At first glance, the most intimidating presence in Nikki’s new school is Mackenzie Hollister—the school’s queen bee. Mackenzie immediately takes an interest in Nikki and attempts to befriend her despite their differences. As Mackenzie starts involving her in all sorts of adventures, Nikki’s BFFs, Chloe and Zoey, join the fight against Mackenzie’s bullying ways. Other key characters include Brianna, Mackenzie’s cheeky little sister, and Brandon Roberts, Nikki’s crush.
Throughout the series, readers get an inside look into the highs and lows of teenage life with its endless dramas. Alongside all of these adventures and mishaps, we also see Nikki slowly gain more confidence as she makes more friends throughout her journey at this new school. With plenty of heartaches, laughter, and awkward moments thrown into the mix, it will be interesting to see if any of them will help Nikki finally break free from her dorky identity.
Here’s a list of all the books in the Dork Diaries in order:
1. Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (2009)
2. Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl (2010)
3. Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star (2011)
3.5. How to Dork Your Diary (2011)
4. Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess (2012)
5. Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-it-all (2012)
6. Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker (2013)
6.5. OMG: All About Me Diary! (2013)
7. Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star (2014)
8. Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After (2014)
9. Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen (2015)
10. Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter (2015)
11. Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy (2016)
12. Tales from a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe (2017)
13. Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday (2018)
14. Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever (2019)
15. Tales from a Not-So-Posh Paris Adventure (2020)
The book series is also sold in boxed set format.
About the author
Rachel Renee Russell is an American author and attorney.
A native of Michigan, Rachel graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1991. Since then, Rachel has worked as a lawyer in various corporate law positions before taking a break to write full-time.
When she’s not busy writing, Rachel enjoys spending time with her two daughters, Erin and Nikki. In addition to The Dork Diaries, Rachel has also written The Misadventures of Max Crumbly series, which follows the life of middle schooler Max Crumbly. Most of Rachel’s works have been published by Simon & Schuster under the “Aladdin” imprint.
Rachel’s books have sold over 45 million copies worldwide, making her one of the most successful authors today. Her books have been translated into over 36 languages worldwide and can be found in bookstores across Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.
She attributes much of her success to having “never given up on her dreams”—something she encourages others to follow suit with when it comes to following their passions.
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Why was the Dork Diaries movie cancelled?
Unfortunately, the movie adaptation of The Dork Diaries was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement came in June 2020 after weeks of speculation.
Is The Dork Diaries based on a true story?
While The Dork Diaries isn’t based on any particular person or event, Rachel Renée Russell took inspiration from her own experiences as a middle school student and mother in writing these books. Her daughters have also had some input when creating Nikki Maxwell’s character.
Do Nikki and Brandon date in Dork Diaries?
The relationship between Nikki Maxwell and Brandon Roberts is a complicated one. Although they have strong chemistry, the two remain stuck between just friends and being officially labeled as a couple.
What is the name of the rock band Nikki and Brandon form together?
The rock band featured is called “Dorkalicious.”