TALES FROM A NOT-SO-GRACEFUL ICE PRINCESS
(Dork Diaries #4)
by Rachel Renee Russell
Reviewed from purchased copy.
In an all-new addition to the New York Times bestselling series that’s as popular as it is dorky, Nikki Maxwell is determined to help out her crush!Nikki
Maxwell isn’t at all surprised to find out that her crush Brandon
volunteers at a local animal shelter. He’s such a sweet guy—of course he
wants to help those adorable puppies! Then Brandon tells her that the
shelter is in danger of closing, and Nikki knows she can’t let that
happen. Especially when she discovers a shocking secret about Brandon
that makes keeping that shelter open more important than ever. So Nikki
and her friends Chloe and Zoey enter an ice skating competition to help
raise money for the shelter, but (big surprise) Mackenzie has to stick
her nose in and cause trouble so that she can be the one to swoop in and
save the day. No way will Nikki let that happen: She’ll just have to
come up with some extra creative ideas this time!
While the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is by far the most popular series in my school library, Dork Diaries is also very popular. I must confess that I find Dork Diaries more enjoyable. Maybe it's because I don't find Greg very likeable, maybe because I can relate to a girl main character better. But I think that it is most likely because Nikki personifies so well the dramas of middle school. I have to laugh at how horrified she becomes at things that I no longer would even blink at, but which really are so important to kids at that age. I also like Nikki and her friends because they are real with talents and weaknesses who often make poor decisions and then have to live with the consequences.
In this particular book, Nikki and her best friends are putting together an ice skating routine to help save an animal rescue organization. But then Nikki tries ice skating and discovers that she has trouble just standing up. She decides to try to get out of the charity event and then finds out that her crush, Brandon, has a special connection to the shelter and she must do something to help. At the same time, Nikki's nemesis Mackenzie does everything she possibly can to make Nikki's life more difficult.
With plenty of drama as well as humor, I couldn't help but cheer Nikki on as she struggles with her challenges both at home and at school. Girls especially will find much to enjoy in this series. The humorous illustrations add the perfect touch. I highly recommend this series to middle grade readers looking for something beyond Diary of a Wimpy Kid.