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NIkki Maxwell has just started at a new private school, thanks to the scholarship her dad got in exchange for being the school’s official bug exterminator.  Nikki has a lot of trouble making friends at first, in large part because she does not have a cell phone (a vitally important status symbol).  And of course, it doesn’t help that her locker is next to the locker of the most popular, most conceited, meanest girl in the school–MacKenzie Hollister.  As much as Nikki is secretly kind of in awe of MacKenzie, she is determined not to let her control her life.  While her new friends Chloe and Zoey try to come up with schemes to win a trip to a National Library Week celebration, Nikki tries to work up the courage to challenge MacKenzie in an art competition and maybe win the love of the cutest, funniest, most wonderful boy in the whole school, Brandon Roberts, who much to MacKenzie Hollister’s chagrin, seems to be awfully nice to Nikki. . . .

This book started off a little slow for me, but by the end, I really enjoyed it.  Nikki is a very funny narrator and the situations she finds herself in are both hilarious and entirely relatable for anyone who is or has ever been a middle school girl (although upper-elementary-aged girls will probably enjoy the book as well).  The series continues in Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl.

If you liked Dork Diaries, you might like Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm, Dumped by Popular Demand by P.G. Kain, Babymouse by Jennifer Holm, and Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

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