Monday, September 26, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Dork Diaries, by Rachel Renee Russell--and a Giveaway!

Phew--wasn't sure if I'd find time to put together an MMGM this week, what with being gone all weekend (I'm actually still traveling today). But I MADE IT! And I'm so glad I did, because now I get to gush about the DORK DIARIES, a series I absolutely love. Specifically book one: DORK DIARIES: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-FABULOUS LIFE, by Rachel Renee Russell.

Here's the sweet, simple description from the publisher:

New school. New mean girl. New crush.

New diary so Nikki can spill about all of it...

Now, obviously it's hard not to see the very pink cover and the use of the word "Diary" in the title and the illustrations throughout the book and think "Wimpy Kid for girls." And... on some level it is--in the BEST sense of the comparison. But don't let those similarities fool you into thinking this is just some re-imagining of something already out there. 

The Dork Diaries are very much their own creation--smart, funny, and oh so addicting. It's not surprising at all that the books have appeared on the NYT Bestseller list, both individually and as a series. Which means the series probably doesn't need my help getting people to discover it. But I love it too much not to gush about it.

There are many, many things I love about the series--the awesome doodles and illustrations being HIGH on that list. But what I love most is how real the main character is. Reading the books makes me feel like I'm a 13-year-old girl again. I can so relate to the things she thinks and feels--the author nailed the tween girl experience.

And don't let the pink cover and girl on the front fool you. I know many boys who love the books, once they're willing to look past the pink. Boy, girl, kid, grown-up, whatever, I highly recommend giving the series a chance. For a quick, fun, hilarious read you can't do better.

Which is why I'm giving away a copy of Book 1 in the series, "Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life" to one lucky winner.


You guys! The Ever-So-Fabulous Rachel Renee Russell has emailed me offering to take this prize to a WHOLE other level of awesome. So the winner will now receive:

DORK DIARIES 1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
DORK DIARIES 2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl
DORK DIARIES 3: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star
AND the soon-to-be-released DORK DIARIES 3 1/2: How to Dork Your Diary

That's right--the winner gets FOUR amazing hardcover books, all fabulously Dorky. Gotta admit it guys, I'm totes jealous.  

And since the prize just reached uber-awesomeness, I've decided to extend the entry time for another week. See the instructions below, with changes in red.

To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, October 8th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, October 9th. International entries welcome.

And... go!

For more middle grade love, make sure you check out these other MMGMs floating around the blogosphere:

- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!

- Barbara Watson is featuring THE OWL KEEPER. Click HERE to learn all about it. 

- Ishta Mercurio-Wentworth is showcasing THE CITY OF EMBER. Click HERE to see why she loves it. 

- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is featuring THE RAT BRAIN FIASCO. Click HERE to see what he thinks.

- Myrna Foster is gushing about THE EMERALD ATLAS. Click HERE to see why.

- Deb Marshall sings the praises of PETER NIMBLE AND IS FANTASTIC EYES. Click HERE to see what all the hype is about.

- Sheri Larsen is highlighting MIDDLE SCHOOL--THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE. Click HERE to read her review.

- Charlotte Taylor makes her MMGM debut with a feature on BREADCRUMBS. Click HERE to see what she thought.

- Brooke Favero has an interview with authors Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson about their new book: THE FAMILIARS: SECRETS OF THE CROWN. Click HERE to read more. 

And if you want to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do!

Happy Monday!


  1. My 12-year-old has read one of these Dork Diaries - they are fun, right down to the book font.

  2. Sounds like a fun read. My daughter would have loved it at that age.

  3. I haven't read these; honestly, b/c they looked like a total knock off! But I knew they were doing well so I should give it a chance! Thanks!

  4. I have this one!! Fabulous stuff. BTW - I forgot to email you to tell you that I'm highlighting an MG book today. :)

  5. Will have to check these out. Great post.

  6. This book sounds so cute! :) Would love to win a copy.

  7. Thanks for the giveaway! And yes on this series, it captures the tween voice so. well. Cheers and Happy Monday back!

  8. I love the Dork Diaries! Actually the second one, the purple one is my favorite. There is a little Nikki Maxwell in all of us!

  9. You're exactly right about this series, #1. They are fun and upbeat and utterly awesome. :-)

  10. My girls LOVE these books! A Diary of A Wimpy Kid for girls - extra fabulous :)

  11. Please enter me in contest.

  12. For girls! Love it! Thanks for the chance to win it.

  13. hi miss shannon! yikes! pink cover! ack! girly! ack! id be a whimpy kid for reading this lest under the covers with a flashlight. ha ha.
    ...hugs from lenny

  14. Sounds like it will be a fun book to read. Cute cover! Thanks for the chance to win this giveaway.

  15. This sounds like such a fabulous book! I don't read enough MG, it looks like so much fun. :)

  16. This series sounds fun! Always love a good MG review, helps my reading list to grow!

  17. The Dork Diaries series is one of the most popular in my school library. I just ordered the 3rd and we are anxiously awaiting it.

  18. Your MMGMs are one of my main sources of info on MG books! :-)

  19. looks adorable! i will definitely read this one.

    -Gina C

  20. Looks amazing!!!

    GFC- Angie

    Thanks for this giveaway!!!

    ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. Ooh! My daughter would love these. She's already read through the DoaWK series a million times--a change would be welcome. Thanks for hosting!

  22. this is so cute and the cover! Pretty! My cousin would love it!

  23. OMG my oldest is dying to read the 4th!!! She's a huge fan :)

  24. would love the chance to win these. count me in.

  25. I'd love a shot at winning these! Thanks, Shannon, and Renee!

  26. Thanks for this giveaway!!!
    Sounds like a cute read!



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