Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a NOT-SO-Fabulous Life

Book review by Kristen Breck, Common Sense Media
Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a NOT-SO-Fabulous Life Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 9+

First in diary series thick with materialism, thin on plot.

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 48 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 204 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

this series set our whole family back

My 8 year old discovered this series through a library recommendation bundle, probably because I mentioned she likes graphic novels and Babysitters Club. My daughter LOVED these books and gobbled them up over a couple of months, reading and re-reading them. I wasn't paying close enough attention to the content but I didn't have a good feeling about them. Then I noticed my daughter and her younger brother using so much more rude language, talking back, and then my daughter got in trouble at school for name-calling with friends. Finally one day she got mad at me and told me I was BRAIN DEAD. I stopped her in her tracks and asked her why she thought it was ok to talk to me like that. She went to her bookcase and grabbed the first Dork Diaries book and that was literally the first line in the book, the narrator calling her mother brain dead. Then I looked deeper and no more of those books are coming into our house. I know the purpose of a diary can be to vent and express negative emotions with words you would not necessarily use out loud. I don't think 3rd, 4th graders are sophisticated enough to tell the difference. Now I have to back track with my kids about respect, materialism, kindness, and appropriate language and fight against the image of cool tweeny Nikki that my daughter latched on to. I have learned my lesson about not previewing a series like this for my kids.

This title has:

Too much consumerism
2 people found this helpful.
age 10+

Y'all forgotten your youth. X'D

All the parents that are saying that this book series is "bad" or "detrimental to a girls' self esteem" clearly has forgotten their youth. I'm 26 years old and I literally adore this book series. I enjoy this series because I can relate more to the main character, Nikki. I've never had healthy relationships growing up so I saw myself in Nikki. And she is actively trying to be "popular" while navigating her life as a teenage girl. For me, I think this book is absolutely PERFECT for those "dorky girls" in life and need to just be themselves. That's the message in all these books. She is just going through everything a teen does.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love coming-of-age stories

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