A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- Author: Rachel Renee Russell
- Illustrator: Rachel Renee Russell
- Genre: Friendship
- Topics: Book Characters, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Aladdin
- Publication date: June 2, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 13
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: January 16, 2021
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