Thursday, June 28, 2012

Girl Pick: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Graceful Princess

Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Graceful Princess
by Rachel Renee Russell
Aladdin (Simon & Schuster)
368 pages, with illustrations

Once again, we meet Nikki Maxwell and her BFF's Chloe and Zoey. This time the girls want to enter a skating contest hoping to get A's in  their P.E. class, do a good deed for a local charity, and win $3,000.00 to help that charity. Their biggest problem is that Nikki can't skate--well, she can sort of skate, if falling down and running into everything and everyone on ice counts. Nikki has a few days to figure it out and act like a graceful princess on ice or the girls will get laughed out of school. Of course, mean girl Mackenzie is out to prove she's the greatest thing ever seen on ice. Nikki has no love for Mackenzie and thinks of her as, "a GRIZZLY BEAR with a French manicure and blond hair extensions." Sadly for Nikki and company, Mackenzie skates like an Olympic champ.

The girls rally around a local cause, Fuzzy Friends, a pet rescue organization run by an elderly couple. Brandon, Nikki's "SQUEE" crush, volunteers his time there, and Nikki loves playing with the puppies and dogs. When they hear that Fuzzy Friends may have to close, Nikki and her BFF's are more determined than ever to win the prize money for the charity.

Throughout the book, Nikki complains about little sis Brianna, who is just about the biggest brat since Dennis the Menace. She means no harm, but she runs pretty wild. She never seems to get in trouble even when ruining a holiday performance of "The Nutcracker." Her antics are over the line, and she will probably end up a juvenile delinquent if her behavior is not addressed soon!

Brandon is just as dreamy as ever, and he's showing interest in Nikki. She's SQUEE over-the-moon. This  funny romp with  good natured fun (except for bratty Brianna), typical middle school angst, and a great female protagonist who is believeable and charming and who will resonate with fans of the earlier books.

Highly, highly recommended for fans of earlier Dork Diaries. Book 4 delivers laughs and entertainment.

Grades 5-up. No language, no sex. Some bad behavior on Brianna's part; mean girl antics and attitude from Mackenzie and Nikki is starting to stand up for herself.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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