Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life

Series: Dork Diaries Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes in her diary of her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, then of finding her place after she gives up on being part of the elite group.
Catalog Number: #4088604
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Aladdin
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 282 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-416-98006-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-416-98006-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2008048567
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Self-professed dork Nikki Maxwell chronicles her life as the new girl at Westchester Country Day School. Most of Nikki's diary entries focus on her embarrassing family trials and run-ins with exaggeratedly mean queen bee MacKenzie. The writing delivers fluffy sitcom-style humor for tweens. Font that resembles handwriting, humorous manga-like doodles, and comic sketches add authenticity to the format.
Kirkus Reviews
When her father barters enrollment in a prestigious private school in exchange for his bug-extermination services, Nikki suddenly finds her life in turmoil. At Westchester Country Day, Nikki encounters uber-snobbish MacKenzie, the archetypal mean girl and her pack of "CCP"—Nikki's acronym for the cute, cool and popular—friends. Nikki chronicles all of her new-girl angst and trepidations as well as her fledgling crush in her diary. Russell's narrative deftly captures the winsome vulnerability of a girl perched on the cusp of teenhood. The comical sketches, executed a la Diary of a Wimpy Kid , add an element of self-deprecating humor to the tale. An abundance of up-to-the-minute pop-cultural references threatens to date this novel quickly. Nikki's ultimate realization that she needs to be true to herself comes across as genuine rather than contrived, however, so despite its modern trappings, Nikki's journey of self-discovery will appeal to preadolescent readers struggling to find their places in the world. (Fiction. 9-13)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8 Fourteen-year-old Nikki J. Maxwell has been awarded a scholarship to a prestigious private middle school as a part of her fathers bug extermination contract. Her angst as she deals with the resident mean girl, her embarrassing parents, her crush on the hot boy, and making new friends are all recorded alongside numerous sketches of her life. Although occasionally amusing, Nikki is not a very likable character. She is shallow and self-centered and fails to show any growth in the book, even as she one-ups popular and cruel MacKenzie in the end. In fact, Nikki, who steals her neighbors hearing aid and plays pranks on her little sister, is somewhat of a mean girl herself. All the other characters are underdeveloped, including Nikkis family and her new BFFs, Chloe and Zoey. Black-and-white drawings, which are often witty, appear throughout the text, which is printed on lined pages as though from a diary. Fans of Jeff Kinneys Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams) may enjoy this book, but its an additional purchase. Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix Public Library, AZ
Word Count: 29,745
Reading Level: 5.4
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.4 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 132957 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.7 / points:8.0 / quiz:Q45927
Lexile: 890L
Guided Reading Level: W
Fountas & Pinnell: W

Meet Nikki Maxwell! She’s starting eighth grade at a new school—and her very first diary packed with hilarious stories and art in this SUPER SQUEE updated edition of Book One of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki confesses all in her first diary ever: her epic battle with her mom for an iPhone, meeting her new soon-to-be BFFs Chloe and Zoey, falling for adorably sweet crush Brandon, dealing with her zany little sister Brianna’s antics—and the immediate clashes with mean girl MacKenzie, who becomes Nikki’s rival in a schoolwide art competition.

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