\ Young readers book *Dork Diaries 2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl* by Rachel Renée Russell - Curled Up With A Good Kid's Book
Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Dork Diaries 2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl* by Rachel Renée Russell- young readers fantasy book review
Dork Diaries 2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl
by Rachel Renée Russell
Ages 9-13 288 pages Aladdin June 2010 Hardcover    

The second in the Dork Diaries series, Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl, is a fun novel “handwritten” in diary format, filled with the emotional ups and downs of an eighth-grade girl who has just started a new school.

Nikki has an annoying six-year-old sister, Brianna, two close friends (Zoey and Chloe) and one love-interest – Brandon. While the first book in the series covered the month of September, this book begins in October. Nikki has just won a school-wide art contest, beating out her locker neighbor, the stereotypical popular snob, Mackenzie.

The focus of the story is on parties–Mackenzie’s birthday party, to which Nikki is officially not invited, and the school Halloween dance. Mackenzie is the chairperson of the dance; Nikki is on the clean-up crew. When Mackenzie resigns as the dance chair, it is up to Nikki and the clean-up crew to save the party.

Always concerned with her popularity, Nikki makes too many commitments on Halloween night: working at a kids party as a face painter, dressed in a yucky rat costume; hanging out with her friends, dressed in trash bags; and as Brandon’s date, dressed in a beautiful Juliet costume. The rest of the book reads like a television sitcom with Nikki changing costumes and trying to be in three places at once.

Easily compared with Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Nikki’s diary entries come directly from her heart – reflective of the overactive hormones of a middle-school girl and contemporary teen culture. She is always troubled and embarrassed by her younger sister (who is deathly afraid of the tooth fairy), longs for a cool cell phone and is obsessed with her popularity level. Her language includes common abbreviations (OMG! BFF, etc.), slang terminology (“I’m just saying….”) and numerous references to popular culture.

Overall, Nikki is an admirable central character–loyal to her friends, a good sister and true to herself as a budding artist. There is a certain freedom to diary “handwriting,” conveying emotions of the character and emphasizing what she perceives as important. The diary is filled with Nikki’s drawings, which speed up the pace of the book and magnify the humor in the various situations.

Look for future entries in Nikki’s diaries in sequels covering the rest of her 8th grade year. Recommended for girls in 4th – 7th grade.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Kristine Wildner/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (www.curledup.com)