Dork Diaries 9: Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Dork Diaries 9: Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen Book Poster Image
Installment in popular series is long on drama, stereotypes.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 18 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

As a graphic novel, the book will appeal to reluctant readers.

Positive Messages

Though neither overwhelmingly negative nor really positive, the novel leaves readers languishing in oft-used stereotypes of mean popular girls and nice but self-absorbed underdogs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The novel relies heavily on mean-girl-vs.-underdog-girl stereotypes and the perfect boy they both like. There are some examples of good friendships, but even those relationships are limited to and driven by clichéd character types. 


A girl vomits after a bug is found in her hair; instances of verbal and psychological bullying without physical altercations.


Descriptions of boys and girls "liking" each other; mention of a kiss.


Mild name-calling, such as "loser," "maniac," and "dork."


Most brands are made up and/or used for scene-setting.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dork Diaries 9: Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen, as usual for this series, is long on the middle school drama with fabricated and real online bullying and mean-girl stuff. There are descriptions of boys and girls "liking" each other and mention of a kiss. This is light reading, and its graphic novel format will appeal to tween reluctant readers, but it's all icing, no cake.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysweet_lily_850 May 1, 2016

Dork Diaries #9: Tales from a NOT-SO Dorky Drama Queen

It was a peaceful and normal day for Nikki Maxwell and she was on her way to lunch but stopped at her locker first. When she got to her locker she noticed that... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySummerbliss3456 September 30, 2015

Love dork diaries

All dork diaries is AWSOME, I love all the drama. Mackenzie is horrible and I love it when Nikki gives her a pice of her mind #Nikki you go girl :)
Kid, 11 years old October 26, 2020

Deserves zero stars

This book, not like the rest, is written in Mackenzie's point of view, the author really messed up, she could've given us a little back story for her... Continue reading

What's the story?

Nikki's diary -- yes, that one -- has been stolen, and now Nikki's enemy, MacKenzie Hollister, is wrecking Nikki's life bit by bit. She's ruined her friendship with Brandon and may even get her fired (!) from her newspaper column. MacKenzie tells her side of the story in Nikki's diary, of course, and the results are less than dorky.

Is it any good?

It feels as if the characters and the story regressed in this latest adventure, which boils down to the typical middle school drama stereotypes we saw in the first few installments. Unfortunately, the opportunity to see inside the "mean-girl mind" was wasted, and we find our heroine back to obsessing over the perfect boy vs. stepping up to stop the cyberbullying of a fellow classmate. There are some bright spots where we see a commonality between two of the main characters, but there isn't enough of that to offset the relatively routine nature of the story. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cyberbullying. Instead of relishing the viral video of her "enemy," how could Nikki have helped?

  • How does journaling help you work out your feelings. Have you tried journaling? 

  • How does real-life middle school drama compare with how it's portrayed on TV and in movies? Is school really that polarized, or does the media play up these negative characteristics of school life to get clicks, views, and shares?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love humor and middle school stories

Themes & Topics

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