A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, as with the other books in the Dork Diaries series, Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star is a funny graphic novel that can be used to coax reluctant readers. It won't expand their ideas and knowledge of the world around them, but it will get them reading.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Nikki and the crew, including mean girl Mackenzie, are back in the latest installment of Dork Diaries. This time, Nikki finds out she's not only headed into the studio as a result of the last book, she's staring in a reality TV show! The excitement of being a star isn't all she thought it would be with manufactured controversy, a booked schedule, and miscommunication with her crush Brandon. How will Nikki manage to protect her friends and family from the drama, keep up with school, and get a chance for her -- gulp -- first kiss?
Is it any good?
There's much to be said about what the book lacks -- depth, developed characters, real circumstances -- but there's quite a bit author Rachel Renee Russell does well. She's certainly created a series that appeals to reluctant readers. This graphic novel visits a world where there are clear lines of good and bad, problems are solved with lightning-quick (if not deep) thinking, and kids can live out the dreams of a simple tween life.
Friends, boys, and pop stardom -- not a bad combination for a summer read at the beach. This book also will serve as a nice distraction between heady, required summer reading books.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the perception of reality TV shows. As Nikki learns, the producers write the scripts and manipulate ordinary activities to drum up drama. Do you think most people know these shows are scripted? What stereotypes do they perpetuate?
Families also can talk about some of the stereotypes in Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star. How is Nikki and Mackenzie's relationship similar to those in other popular books and movies? Does there have to be a mean-girl-versus-regular-girl plot to make the story interesting?
Does everyone want to be a star? Whether it involves music, acting, or fashion design, many movie and book plots revolve around becoming famous. Can you name female book characters whose claim to fame is that they're not famous?
- Author: Rachel Renee Russell
- Illustrator: Rachel Renee Russell
- Genre: School
- Topics: Book Characters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Aladdin
- Publication date: June 3, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 13
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (abridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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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.