Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life" by Rachel Renee Russell

I mostly just read this book to make sure it was appropriate for my 6-year-old to read. (When a first-grader reads on a higher-than-average level, sometimes you have to be careful about what they get their hands on.) I figure it's pretty safe. The main character, Nikki, is no Pollyanna (though she's not Kathryn Merteuil--the coke-snorting bad girl from Cruel Intentions--either), and she's a little too concerned with becoming popular . . . but weren't we all, in middle school?

Here's the inevitable comparison to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Just by looking at the cover you can see there's no doubt that this book is basically "Diary of a Wimpy Kid For Girls." The book is cute and fun, but Jeff Kinney did it first and better and slightly more cleverly. Kinney's illustrations are more believably drawn by the Wimpy Kid, whereas the Dork obviously had a professional artist trying to simplify the drawings enough to look like an 8th-grader did them. (Not only that, but Kinney's illustrations are more consistent; the Dork's illustrations vary between stick figures and actual people-looking people.) And whereas Wimpy Kid can be enjoyed by girls just as much as boys, I'm afraid the Dork's hot pink cover and the number of times Nikki says "like" just scream "NO BOYS ALLOWED."

I thought this was a brand new book, but it was actually first published last June, and there is already another one out (something about a Party Girl . . . definitely will have to check that one out and make sure it's OK). I don't think there's any need for an adult to get excited about reading this, but I bet just about any young girl would love it.


Amy said...

When I saw the cover on your post, I immediately thought of the Wimpy Kid books - my boys love those. Looks like the author and/or publisher is definitely trying to capitalize on that trend!

Elle said...

Great review! It's nice to see that there's a girlier version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Heather said...

My comment is late, Sorry. I am going to get this for my daughter. She is a strong third grade reader and I am sure she would enjoy it. Thanks for the review.