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November 15, 2017


Dear Nikki,

I’m actually kind of embarrassed to ask this, but I’m constantly worrying that my friends secretly hate me because I wear plus sizes. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but some people care about looks. I just need some encouragement.


Fear Of Fake Friends

Hi Fear Of Fake Friends,

Boy, we all need encouragement once in a while, don’t we? I can totally relate!

And body size is one of those things that are SO EASY to feel insecure about. I also got a letter this week from someone upset because people tease her for being too skinny. A girl could drive herself crazy if she let herself worry about being attractive to everyone! ☹

But you’re not worried about just anyone—you’re worried about your friends. And that they might hate you? Secretly? Because of your size?

I understand feeling insecure about your size, but think about this logically. If they’re your friends, but they secretly hate you, why would they keep you around? Why would they pretend to like you? What would they get out of that?

If you honestly think they’re keeping you around because they’re using you for something or because they’re just evil enough to want to laugh at you behind your back…then WOW. They sound like TERRIBLE friends!

But it’s way more likely that they DON’T secretly hate you—for any reason, but certainly not your size.

So the issue is really about your own insecurity.  And believe me, we all struggle with a little insecurity sometimes.

And look, every single one of your friends has their own insecurities. Maybe they’re insecure about their appearance too, whether it’s acne, braces, or their body shape. Maybe they’re insecure about a learning disability, how much money their family has, or how to talk to boys.

Either way, everyone could use some encouragement!

There’s a pretty fun activity I did at a camp once that would work really well with a circle of friends. Everyone puts their name on an envelope. (Or you could decorate pretty jars and paint your names onto them, but if you want to keep it low-key, an envelope works fine.) Then everyone passes their envelope (or jar) around the circle and each person writes a little note to the person whose envelope they have, telling them what they love about them. (If your friend group isn’t quite so mushy with each other, it could be “your favorite thing about the person.”) The envelopes get passed all the way around, and when yours comes back to you, it’s filled with encouraging notes from all your friends. Everybody wins!

So, doing that activity might be a really fun way to boost everyone’s confidence, and remind yourself why your friends think you’re awesome. You could have everyone over for a little get-together at your house, if your parents are okay with that. OR you could just do it during a lunch period. You could just say you read about it online and thought it would be fun.

BUT if that doesn’t sound like something that would fly with your group, then I think you could focus on a couple things.

  1. Put love and encouragement out into your group. This might sound silly, but if you’re regularly encouraging people and complementing them (genuinely), that goodness you spread should come back to you. Treat others how you want to be treated!
  2. Work on your self-esteem. If you look through these posts here on the Dork Diaries website, you’ll find a variety of questions people have asked that have to do with self-esteem, and you’ll see my answers. Some of them won’t apply perfectly to you, but I hope some of them will help build your confidence:

I hope that helps! I really don’t think your friends hate you, for any reason! And I hope you can start to see why they actually LOVE having you around!! 🙂

Do you feel insecure about your friends? How do you reach out to make others feel more secure?
November 13, 2017


Lunchtime in the library is usually a calm, quiet place for Chloe, Zoey, and me to chillax without worrying about CCPs, bullies or food fights.

But today we walked into the library and found TOTAL CHAOS!

There were piles of books all over the place, and Mrs. Peach was sitting in the middle of the piles, SOBBING!!

“Mrs. Peach, what’s wrong?” Chloe asked.

The sweet librarian looked up at us. “A pipe burst!” she wailed. “And all these precious books are RUINED!!”

I picked up a book and flipped through it. A chunk of soggy pages fell out. Mrs. Peach sobbed even harder.

“Okay, but they’re not ALL ruined.” Zoey grabbed another book that was just fine.

Mrs. Peach sniffled. “I was trying to sort the damaged ones from the survivors, but it was just too upsetting!”

Chloe tried to comfort Mrs. Peach while Zoey and I started sorting through the books. There WAS a lot of damage. But there were a lot of survivors, too!

When Mrs. Peach saw we were making progress, she let Chloe lead her back into her office to help her make a cup of tea. When Chloe came out, she closed the door gently behind her, like she’d just put a cranky baby down for a nap.

“I got her settled in and listening to an audiobook,” she said. “How bad is it?”

And the truth was…it was AWFUL. The books that must have been right under the pipe that burst were TOTALLY destroyed! But there were others that were just a little damp. Once they dried out, they might have slightly wavy pages, but that was all!

(The reason why I know this involves Brianna, a bathtub and her not-so-brilliant idea of a “floating library.” That’s really all I need to say about that.)

Anyway, we found some big boxes behind the checkout counter and piled the super damaged books into those so Mrs. Peach didn’t have to see the carnage when she came out.

Then we opened up the books that needed to dry out and spread them carefully on all the worktables throughout the library.

“OMG you guys!!”

Zoey and I looked up from our piles of books to see Chloe hunched over one of the damp books.

“Come here! Nikki…isn’t that your journalism teacher, Mr. Zimmerman?!!”

We rushed over. She was looking at a yearbook. And SUPER-DUSTY OLD yearbook. Westchester Country Day, 1982!

And sure enough – there was Mr. Zimmerman, the current advisor for the Westchester Country Day newspaper! Rude, snarky Mr. Zimmerman…all dressed up in a tux for a formal dance with his date!

“Richard Zimmerman,” Zoey read from the caption, “and Michelle Parker, the Valentine Dance king and queen!”

“Michelle Parker?” Chloe exclaimed. “Is that Ms. Parker, the history teacher?!”

“NO. WAY.”

Ms. Parker is even crankier than Mr. Zimmerman. Then again…maybe that makes them a perfect match! But in the photo, they don’t look cranky at all. They looked like a totally cute couple!!

It’s hard to imagine either one of them was EVER young like us. OMG. Does that mean that one day I’ll be a shriveled, bitter, angry person who lives to make teenagers miserable?!

“How’s it going, girls?”

Mrs. Peach wandered out, clutching her mug of tea like it was a life preserver. (Her mug said: LIBRARIAN: The original search engine.)

We explained our system of drying out the books, and downplayed the damaged ones, which we would carry out to the Dumpster behind the school.

“And what are you looking at there?” She peered over our shoulders. “Oh my! 1982! That was my first year as librarian here at WCD!”

“So is that…Mr. Zimmerman and Ms. Parker?!” Chloe squealed, pointing out the mushy picture.

Mrs. Peach looked closely. “Why, yes! Yes, as I recall, they were quite the item! Ah, young love…”

It was WILD. Mrs. Peach told us all about her early days as a librarian to some of our current teachers. They were OUR age once! I mean…I knew that in my brain. But…it’s kinda wierd to imagine!

Next time Mr. Zimmerman is flipping out about a newspaper deadline, I’m just going to picture him crushing on Ms. Parker!!

What’s your fav book to read (besides my diary 🙂 )?  Tell us all about it in the comments!

November 8, 2017


Hey Nikki! I love my parents, but sometimes it feels like they love my younger sister more than me. I can’t stop feeling jealous about it! I sometimes even feel like I should run away.  That way, they’ll be happier without me there. What do you think I should do?

Sad Sister Situation

Hi Sad Sister Situation,

First of all, I FEEL YOU. Younger sisters are a LOT. I have been where you are, watching my parents run circles around Brianna, wondering when they’re going to notice I’m RIGHT THERE!

Even though I don’t know you or your parents, I feel totally 100% confident saying that they DON’T love your little sister more than they love you. Period. But I totally believe you when you say that they give her more attention, and that can feel like they’re giving her more love.

Whatever the reason – maybe she’s a lot younger, like Brianna is, or maybe she has special needs, or just kind of a big personality – they probably feel like they HAVE to give her more attention. And meanwhile, you’re older and more mature, and they feel like they don’t have to worry about you as much. But that leads to you feeling neglected.

You definitely should NOT run away. That wouldn’t solve anything. Let’s say your finger starts hurting. It hurts for a while, and it’s hard to type or eat and do your normal activities. Would you go see a doctor to find out what’s wrong? Or, would you just cut off your hand?

Running away in response to this problem would be like cutting off your hand for that sore finger.

But, don’t “let it go” either. There are times to make like Elsa and let it go, like  when your crush starts crushing on someone else, when your BFF snaps at you because she’s having a bad day, etc.

But right now, what you need to do is see a doctor. Okay, not a doctor – I’m stuck on the finger example. You need to talk to your parents. Pick a calm time when your sister’s not around. (Maybe after she’s in bed?) Don’t do this when emotions are running high. I’m not talking about screaming at them, “You don’t love me!”

I’m talking about sitting them down and telling them how much you love them, and how you understand that your sister demands a lot of their time and energy, but that you’re also feeling like you need some more of their time and energy.

Don’t accuse.  Just focus on telling them how you feel. And if you have specific ideas about what might help, tell them.

If, for some reason, your parents don’t listen when you talk to them, find someone else to talk to. A school counselor, a religious leader, or another adult family member. Find someone to talk to about how you’re feeling, and find someone who will listen to you. Your parents DO love you, and I bet a bunch of other people do as well.

So don’t go cutting off your hand – or running away. Being a parent seems like a pretty tough gig. You totally deserve to feel loved. But you’ll make it easier on everyone if you help your parents out and tell them what you need.

Do you ever feel like your parents love a sibling more than they love you? How do you handle it? Tell us in the comments!
November 7, 2017

Meet Rachel and Nikki at the YallFest Book Festival in Charleston, South Carolina

YallFest Book Festival

Attend a panel discussion with Rachel Renée Russell and her daughter Nikki and get your Dork Diaries books autographed!

Grab some cool swag like bookmarks, posters, stickers and other fun stuff while supplies last.

This is a FREE event!

More details at

What: “More Than Words” Panel discussion
Where: American Theater – Cinema
446 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29403
When: Saturday, October 11th at 2pm
What: Book Signing
Where: Blue Bicycle Books – Courtyard
420 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29403
When: Saturday, October 11th at 3pm
November 2, 2017


Right click the download button to save the calendar of your choice on your computer.

1 vertical page – 8½ x 11in
October 30, 2017


Do you know how long I spent working on my Halloween costume? At least a month! Maybe more, if you count all the time I spent thinking about and planning it.

Guess what? It turned out PERFECT!!

I was going to be a book fairy! I got some old books from a thrift store and made a GORGEOUS skirt and wings out of the pages. I also made a magic wand and a little tiara, and it was honestly the cutest thing ever. Sure, I couldn’t really sit down without completely squashing the skirt, but other than that, it was PURE GENIUS.

Chloe, Zoey, and I were going to go to this huge Halloween bash at the community center. They throw this big party for older kids who maybe don’t trick or treat anymore but still want to dress up and do something fun. LOADS of people from school were going to be there, and other schools too.

When the day of Halloween finally came, in the middle of first period during school…I got the sniffles.

Okay, no big deal, whatever. I can handle some sniffles.

By lunchtime, though, I was sneezing constantly and my head was pounding.

And by fifth period, my history teacher sent me to the nurse when I was too dizzy to pass out papers.

I tried to tell my mom I was fine because SURE I couldn’t stand up or go a minute without sneezing my head off, but I STILL wanted to go to that Halloween party!

So THEN she was all, “Okay, if you’re fine then you get Brianna into her costume and do her face paint.”

Seriously. My mom is SO evil. I mean wicked witch of the west, brain-eating zombie EVIL!

Getting Brianna dressed is hard enough on a normal day, but on Halloween? When she’s already all hyped up on the Halloween candy she’s been sneaking all day?

I lasted about TWO SECONDS before I collapsed on her bed in a pile of snot, tissues and tears of frustration! Just great!! 🙁

“I’m really sorry, honey,” my mom said as Dad and Brianna headed out for trick-or-treating. “But you can help me hand out the candy!”

Yeah, if I wanted to spread my germs to every kid in Westchester!

I had to admit defeat. I sent a text to Chloe and Zoey telling them they’d have to go to the party without me. Then I dragged myself to my own bed and crawled in.

The doorbell started to ring. Sometimes I could hear the little monsters, fairies, and other assorted creatures shouting “TRICK OR TREAT” so loud it was like they were standing right outside MY door. It was ENDLESS!

And then they were BANGING on my window. It was so loud that I had to bury my head under my pillow!

“GO AWAY!” I shouted between sneezes. Then I started to wonder if it wasn’t trick-or-treaters, but actual zombies, vampires or ghosts? Right outside my window?! Ready to eat my brains/suck my blood/do whatever creepy creatures do?!!

(Okay, I feel like it’s only fair to point out that I just had some cold medicine that made me a little loopy.)

That’s when I dragged myself out of bed, staggered to the window, and cautiously peeked out.  Hey, you can NEVER be too careful with flesh-eating zombies!

To my surprise, it WASN’T a zombie, vampire or ghost.


Chloe and Zoey looked AMAZING in their costumes! Zoey had this shiny gold tiara on her head with matching cuffs on her arms.  She was also rocking these super-cute red boots with her very own shield and a “Lasso Of Truth” attached to her belt.

Chloe had this awesome grass skirt with this pretty top that looked just like Moana’s, and she had this beautiful blue pendant that looked just like the heart of Tefiti, plus a giant flower behind her ear.

Chloe and Zoey waved eagerly at me, then they disappeared.  I was staring into the darkness trying to figure out how they disappeared into thin air when I suddenly heard pounding on my bedroom door.

I opened the door and exclaimed, “Hey Chloe and Zoey! What’s up? Why aren’t you guys at the party?”

“Because it’s not a party without YOU, silly!” Chloe said. She reached into her purse and dumped huge handfuls of candy onto my bed.

“We stopped by the party for a second,” Zoey said. “Just to gather some candy, cupcakes, and other goodies!”

So I spent Halloween watching Hocus-Pocus with my BFFs, eating yummy goodies, taking silly selfies and having a blast.  Like, how cool is that?!

It was actually one of the best Halloweens ever. And hey! Looking on the bright side, I can use my book fairy costume for next year! 🙂

What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Tell me in the comments!


Dear Brandon,
I have a crush on these two super-cute guys!
GUY #1 is a lot like you. He’s smart, kind, and really cool. I feel happy whenever I hang out with him.

GUY #2 is outgoing, funny, and amazing at sports. But, he sort of ignores me.


Crazy Crush Crisis

Hey Crazy Crush Crisis,

Thanks for saying Guy #1 is like me, because he sounds pretty awesome! 🙂

I mean, look. There’s nothing wrong with liking two guys at once. If you’re just talking about crushing…crush around! That’s totally okay. So that may answer your question…you don’t have to pick!

But, if you really want to focus all that crushing energy on just one person, it seems to me like your choice is clear. I mean…when you see it written out, isn’t it clear to you too?

GUY #1

  • Smart
  • Kind
  • Really cool
  • You feel happy hanging out with him

GUY #2

  • Outgoing
  • Funny
  • Amazing at sports
  • Kind of ignores you

I mean, they’re both super cute, so that’s not a factor. But one guy ignores you, and the other guy makes you feel happy when you hang out with him. So…it seems like Guy #1 is the obvious choice. And he’s kind to you, which is really the most important thing on the list.

I’ve gotta be honest. As a guy, sometimes I see girls crushing on jerks, or at least guys who don’t pay much attention to them (which is still kinda jerk-ish, if you ask me). I don’t get it. Don’t you want to hang out with the guy who’s friendly and wants to get to know you better?

I guess some people like the challenge of a crush who’s not very friendly. It’s like, “If I can get HIM to like me, I must be awesome.” But, why should Guy #2’s opinion matter more than Guy #1’s? It sounds like Guy #1 is already nice, interested, and kind to you. Seems like that should be Guy #2’s loss.

At least, that’s how I see it. It’s not just because you said Guy #1 is a lot like me.

How do you determine which crush you like the best? How do you handle a crush that ignores you?
October 25, 2017


Dear Nikki,

There are these girls in my class who bully my best friend. My friend is pretty shy and won’t stick up for herself, so I try to stick up for her. But whenever I do, the girls are mean to me, too! My teacher told me to ignore them and let my BFF learn to stick up for herself, but it’s not that easy. I can’t just let them bully my BFF! What should I Do?

Bothered By Bullies Bullying BFF

Hi Bothered By Bullies Bullying BFF,

You DEFINITELY can’t let them bully your BFF, that’s for sure! The only way I’ve survived MacKenzie for so long is because I knew I had Chloe and Zoey for backup!!

I get what your teacher’s saying, though. If your friend always relies on YOU to deal with bullies, what’s she going to do when you’re not around? What if you’re not in the same class next year? Or she rides a different bus? Or she just runs into them at the mall or the pool or wherever? So, I DO think it’s important for her to learn to stick up for herself.

But it’s NOT your responsibility to teach her. And WHILE she’s learning, you can for sure be there for her. That’s what BFFs are for!

I think one of the best ways to be there for someone who is getting bullied is NOT by confronting the bully yourself. Like you said, that just makes them turn on you. But whether it’s your BFF or someone you don’t even know getting bullied, here are a few steps you can take (only if it’s safe for you to do so):

  1. As long as the bullies aren’t physically blocking your way (or you’re not stuck somewhere like a school bus), move your friend away as you talk to her and ignore the bullies. If this is someone you don’t know, once you’re removed from the situation, ask them if there’s anything they need or anyone you can call for them. Stay with them until you’re sure they’re okay.
  2. Continue to ignore whatever the bullies are doing or saying. It might be hard, especially if they’re saying mean things to a friend. OR if they’re saying things you know are really wrong! But bullies WANT the power they get out of confrontation. By ignoring them, you’re denying them that power.
  3. Be sure to talk to the person being bullied like the bullies aren’t even there. Talk about something TOTALLY normal. Like the weather. Or, “Oh, did you watch that show last night?” or “Have you read this book yet?” Make eye contact with them and physical contact, if that’s comfortable for both of you—like a hand on their shoulder.
  4. With your BFF, just be sure she knows you always have her back. Be sure she knows that you appreciate her just the way she is, whether she’s shy or whatever, because DORKS RULE!

It sounds like you’re a really good friend. Your BFF is so lucky to have you!

How do you feel when someone picks on your BFF? How do you handle it?
October 23, 2017

How I Ended Up With Chipmunk Cheeks!

Wisdom teeth sound like they should be a good thing. I mean, they’re called WISDOM teeth, right? Like, people who are extra wise get them or something.

Well, they’re NOT. Wisdom teeth should be called STUPID, AWFUL, EMBARRASSING teeth!


If you don’t know, wisdom teeth are these molars in the way back of your mouth. For most people, they come in during the late teens or early twenties. So if you ever thought you were done growing new teeth…SURPRISE!!

The dentist told my parents I needed to have my wisdom teeth removed – before they’d even appeared! How crazy is that?! But I guess through the magic of dentistry, he could tell that they were going to cause a problem when they came in and it would be better to take them out before that happened.

Whatever. I was going to miss a day of school and have lots of ice cream. Sounded okay to me!

This was NOT wise!!

FIRST, I had to get up super early and NOT eat breakfast! Then, instead of going to my regular, comfortable dentist’s office where I still like to look at the Highlights magazines (don’t judge—the jokes are FUNNY), we had to go to this other cold, boring office. It was an ORAL SURGEON’s office. Which sounded super scary all of a sudden.

They were going to cut me OPEN and remove a part of me!!!

I texted Chloe and Zoey about how nervous I was in the waiting room. But then the doctor called me back and had me breathe this funny gas. And then I was waking up and it was all over.

But it WASN’T over!!

Because the surgery is the easiest part of it! I was passed out! When I woke up, I was SUPER woozy. I felt like I’d taken WAY too much cold medication.

The doctor gave my mom a bunch of instructions, but I was way too out of it to understand them. In the car, I kept hearing this funny dinging sound.

“Mom,” I said. “Answer the doorbell!”

But it wasn’t the doorbell.  It was my phone receiving texts. You can’t answer the doorbell in a CAR.  That’s how out of it I was!

Finally, we were home and my mom got me all set up on the couch. Finally, ice cream, I thought!


She handed me a wad of gauze and told me to bite down on it. When it FILLED UP WITH BLOOD, I was supposed to change it out for another wad of gauze!

I mean, if blood was still POURING out of me, shouldn’t I still be at the doctor’s office?! Or the emergency room?!!

Then it got worse. I went to the bathroom and saw my FACE. I looked like Brianna that time she tried to stuff an entire bag of jumbo marshmallows in her mouth at once! My cheeks were so puffed up that I was afraid I’d start floating away!!

“MOM!!!” I screamed.

Then I remembered she’d gone to pick Brianna up from school.

As soon as I heard a sound at the front door, I ran and threw open the door, shouting, “There’s something wrong with my FACE!!!”

Only it wasn’t my Mom. It was BRANDON!!!! 🙁

He was standing in the doorway, looking terrified. Probably because I looked like a MONSTER!!!

My face was ENORMOUS! I had bloody gauze hanging out of my mouth!! And I was ranting like a lunatic.

“Uh…I think your face is fine,” he finally said.

I have never been so embarrassed in my LIFE!!!

He came over to bring me an assignment, since I missed school. Isn’t he the SWEETEST?!

He tried to convince me he wasn’t freaked out, but that was a LIE. He rushed away like a monster was after him!

But later, he texted me. This is what he said.

I shouldn’t have said your face looks fine. 

OMG. I was freaking out! I mean, sure, I want him to be honest, but…

Then he added,

Because your face isn’t just fine. It’s always adorable. 

Adorable?!! OMG!!!

So maybe getting my wisdom teeth removed was worth it. And hey, if I can’t come up with a Halloween costume idea, I could just go as Wisdom Teeth Girl! 🙂

Hey readers!  What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you?
October 21, 2017


Dork Diaries Ask Brandon being shy

Um, Hi Brandon,

So, uh…I want to make friends.  But the thing is that I’m shy and it’s getting in the way.  Any advice on how to be outgoing?


Shy Guy

Hey Shy Guy,

Let me start by saying that it took a lot of courage for you to write me about this.  It’s half the battle to admit to a total stranger that you’re shy and want to be more outgoing.  Good job.

Now that we’ve broken the ice some and are no longer strangers, let me confess that I’ve been there before.  I was shy when I first came to WCD because I felt like the only kid who wasn’t from a wealthy family and didn’t know anybody.  It was the worst.

But, in the end, I took a chance and actually got to know people who were a lot like me.  To this day, I’ve never regretted taking that chance.

The thing is, you need to take that same chance without letting shyness get in the way.  With every new person you meet, there’s a chance—a chance that they may or may not like you, a chance that you will or won’t hit it off—and that’s why it sometimes feels easier just to remain shy. Because then you won’t have to face any rejection if it doesn’t work out, right?

Well, actually, you still are.  It’s called self-rejection.  Dude, you’re actually letting yourself believe you’re not good enough for somebody out there somewhere to eventually like you and become your friend.  I think that’s the real reason why the cat’s got your tongue.

Shy Guy, you’re a GREAT guy.  It’s time to believe in yourself, man up, and speak up.  (And, if there are any shy girls reading this, you can try what I’m about to suggest, too.)

Here’s a foul-proof, tried and true way to kiss “shy” goodbye and make the friends that you deserve:

  1. First thing’s first.  Look yourself in the mirror and declare that you ARE cool enough to take a chance on getting to know somebody new.  There IS somebody out there who’s actually worth opening up to.  That person WILL make a great friend, and so will you.
  2. Know what you’re into.  What are your interests or hobbies?  What are you passionate about?  What can you not stop talking or thinking about?  Whatever it is—writing, video games, computers, singing, etc.—use it as your fuel for opening up and talking to people.  Take my good buddy, Max Crumbly, for example.  He’s a pretty shy guy too, but when it comes to rapping, and the dude gets going, he CANNOT stop!
  3. Next, look for ways to meet people who are into what you’re into.  For instance, if you love books, become a library assistant at your school (that’s actually how I met Nikki Maxwell.  She was working at the library desk one day, and I actually went up to her and said “Hi.”  We’ve been great friends ever since.  True story!)  You could also join a book club.  Since the focus is on books, it should be easier to chat with the people in it.  Or, if you’re not into books and love art, join an art club.  Or if you’re into soccer, try out for the soccer team.  The point is—whether it’s books, sports, art, you name it—talking with someone new is a lot easier when the topic is something you both love.
  4. Don’t give up!  Let’s face it—there are some people in this world that aren’t very friendly.  But, there are also people that are.  Those are the ones you want to meet.  If you haven’t met any yet, don’t chicken out and stop talking.  Keep on looking and keep the conversation going.

I hope this advice helps.  I know you’re an awesome person and that there’s somebody out there just waiting to meet you.  So, don’t let being shy stop you.

Hey readers, what advice do you have for overcoming shyness?