Dork Diaries 5: Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All
By Renee Russell
Narrated by Jenni Barber
3 hours, 36 minutes
Simon and Schuster
Audio book for review from publisher
[#69 in my 75 book challenge]
After the great toilet paper caper, where she was caught red-handed toilet papering McKenzie’s house, Nikki Maxwell is concerned with the consequences of her actions. In the midst of all her self-created drama, Nikki is also trying to win over her crush, Brandon, and secure a spot on the middle school newspaper. She gets her spot, but it’s not what she expects! Nikki Maxwell is about to become Miss Know-It-All, the school advice columnist. How can she solve everyone else’s problems when she can barely solve her own?
Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All is the fifth installment in the Dork Diaries series. Nikki Maxwell is a likable character dealing with middle school dramas like crushes, popularity, her parents, wacky teachers, and discovering her talents. The novel is typical middle grades fare. Fun, fluffy, and teaching a few little lessons along the way.
Notes on the audio book: Though the audio obviously lacks the fun cartoons and drawings of this novel, it is definitely geared toward the kids audience. Jenni Barber does the thirteen-year-old girl “OMG!” narration quite well. I think the best use for the audio copy would be for use with the print text to help kids build fluency and comprehension. (For more information on using audiobooks with struggling readers, click here.)
FINAL GRADE: B My rating of a B here is more of a professional/objective rating than a personal one. I can’t really say I picked this book up because I love middle grades cartoon novel. However, it surprised me. While Greg Heffley in Diary of Wimpy Kid drove me crazy with his bad attitude, Nikki Maxwell actually has a conscious and a brain. I appreciated that. The audience is definitely elementary/middle school, and you could feel comfortable adding this PG novel (and the rest of the series) to your library collection.
Have you read any of the cartoon novel genre? What do you think of this format?