Review Blog

May 30 2011

Dork Diaries: Pop Star by Rachel Renee Russell

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Simon and Schuster, 2011. ISBN: 978 0 857071187.
Recommended for ages 9 and up. Nikki is a self-confessed dork! Her dad is a pest exterminator who drives a van with a giant roach on the roof and he is the reason that Nikki has won a scholarship at her new school. Her mum demands regular family times and often asks that Nikki look after her little six year old sister, Brianna. Although she has two great friends, Chloe and Zoey, they don't know the truth about Nikki and her family. When McKenzie, an externally attractive but internally nasty person from her class, sees Nikki performing a song and dance routine at the local pizza bar with Brianna, she and her 'mean girl' friends film the event and upload it to YouTube. With this as blackmail material, McKenzie tries to stop Nikki and her friends from entering a talent competition to be held at school.
This is the third book in the Dork Diaries series and contains a winning format for younger girls or slightly older disinclined female readers. Although the protagonist is aged fourteen, the overall content of the book would still be suitable for younger children. With themes of friendship, honesty, resilience, bullying, cyber bullying, first love and being prepared to stand up for what you believe in, this could possibly be used as a class text. Containing large, well spaced bold font, presented as diary entries and liberally scattered with cartoon style illustrations, this series is similar to the Louise Rennison books. It is bound to fill a niche for girls in the same way The Diary of a Wimpy Kid does for the boys.
Jo Schenkel

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