Parents' Guide to

Dork Diaries 2: Tales from a NOT-SO-Popular Party Girl

By Kristen Breck, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Protagonist shows more depth here, but still pretty shallow.

Dork Diaries 2: Tales from a NOT-SO-Popular Party Girl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 14+

Not a Character building book.

Start reading through this book for our ten year old and what a terrible role model. If my child behaved like the main character in this book...materialistic and shallow, spoiled and not something I want my child to emulate.

This title has:

Too much consumerism
1 person found this helpful.
age 9+

As a Grown Fan...

I loved this series when it came out, and now that I'm older I have a different viewpoint. What drew me to this series? The "dork" in the title, and a girl plainly being gossiped about on the cover. I could also relate to wanting a phone and not having one(I got a flip phone when I was 12 but desperately wanted a smartphone). When I was 9, I picked this book because Nikki was instantly relatable. I was worried about seeming weird and uncool, and Nikki seemed to be the perfect character for that. I liked that she wasn't happy-go-lucky, and seemed "real". I also thought Nikki was cool. Re-reading it, I can say that I'm wrong. Nikki is a materialistic jerk and hardly deserves the title of "dork". She takes delight in scamming others and getting ahead. For example, she is given thirty dollars to spend on a Father's Day gift. Instead, she buys herself things with that money. She is just as bad as her valley-girl archenemy, MacKenzie. The only thing that makes Nikki "dorky" is her drawing talent, which is considered cool in the book's universe. Her sister and friends are dorky, so I can only conclude Nikki is a dork by association. I think this series is appropriate for those 9 and up, as long as they realize how terrible of an influence Nikki is. I wish I had. The commonly cited excerpt "A celebrity commonly forgets to wear panties, but wouldn't be caught dead without her cell phone!" wasn't seen as anything bad when I had read the book as a tween. It's just meant to show that especially to celebrities, a cell phone is extremely important. Other than the blatant and prevalent consumerism(and Nikki's attitude), the series is fine for tweens. I'd compare it to the Clique series. As long as you take everything with a grain of salt, it's a fun read.

This title has:

Too much consumerism
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (42 ):

The protagonist in this latest installment in the series continues to be dramatic, self-absorbed, and popularity-obsessed, but she does show some growth here. Nikki has a fleeting moment of compassion for her little sister when she freezes on stage, shows leadership by organizing the school dance -- and learns basic lessons about honesty and how to be a better friend when her best buddies discover her multiple commitments on the night of the dance. Even so, readers will have a hard time finding a character to relate to. Nikki overreacts to everything, and her "woe is me" attitude, constant irritation with her little sister, and flighty decision-making quickly grow tiring. Meanwhile, her nemesis MacKenzie remains a stereotypical enemy. Readers may find this book easy to read -- but other illustrated novels, like The Popularity Papers, will get them thinking deeper about themes like fitting in and friendship.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate