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Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life

Last updated Thursday, May 28, 2020

Author: Rachel Renée Russell
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 1416980067
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2017

Synopsis: 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.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you write in a diary?
•  What kinds of things do/would you write about?
•  Do you like to write stories or poems?


•  Rambled - to go from one subject to another without any clear purpose or direction
•  Ecstatic - very happy or excited
•  Frantically - feeling or showing a lot of fear and worry
•  Angst - a strong feeling of being worried or nervous
•  Paranoid - having or showing an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you
•  Positive Affirmations - positive phrases which you repeat to yourself which describe how you want to be
•  Juvenile - a young person

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you have a secret crush at school?
•  What is your favorite hobby?
•  Have you had to change schools? How did you feel about it?
•  Do you think it is ok for Mackenzie to be mean to Nikki?

Craft ideas:
•  Write about a half page diary entry and draw a picture on the second half of the page that illustrates the entry.
•  Make your own diary/notebook. Take several pages of white or lined paper and cut them in half. Take a piece of construction paper and fold in half. Staple the construction paper over the cute white/lined paper. Color and decorate the front of the diary and write your first entry.
•  Check our craft ideas for August on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!