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November 17, 2018


Hey Brandon,

This year I’m trying out for a new team sport, and so far I like it. The problem is that I’ve never played before so almost all the girls are better then me. Tryouts are in January and I feel like I won’t make the team. What should I do?

Troubled By Tough Tryouts

Hey Troubled By Tough Tryouts,

First of all, congrats on trying something new! Lots of people sit on the sidelines because they’re afraid, but you’re putting yourself out there and going for it. That’s amazing!

I’m guessing ALL the girls aren’t better than you. Most of us judge ourselves harder than anyone else does. So you might not have as much experience as some of the girls. Maybe even most of the girls. But I bet you’re doing better than you think.

And even if you’re not? That’s okay. Look, this sounds like such a parent thing to say, but I think it’s true whenever you’re trying out for something, like a sports team, a play or whatever. Don’t hold back out of fear you might not be good enough. Lay it all out there and do your absolute best.

Sometimes, they have to pick the people with the most skill. But sometimes—and maybe even a lot of times—coaches are looking for potential, hard work, and a good attitude. If they see all that in you, there’s a good chance they could pick you over someone with more skills and experience but a terrible attitude.

Whether or not you make the team depends on a lot of things, and your skill level is only one of them. But the worst that can happen is you don’t make it. If you really loved the process, you could keep working on your skills and try out again next year. Coaches will notice a willingness to keep trying, and they’ll especially notice if your skills improve.

Hey, maybe you’ve gotten to know some of the other girls throughout the process, and that’s cool too. As hard as it is, we’re going to have to try new things that may be difficult over and over again in life, so you’re getting good practice.

Wishing you tons of luck. We’re all cheering for you!

What was the last really hard thing you tried to do? Did you succeed? If not, what did you learn? Tell us in the comments.
November 14, 2018


Hi Nikki,

I’m having a lot of trouble lately with puberty. I’m growing hair under my arms and I don’t like it! Plus, all my friends are wearing trendy, showy clothes, but I don’t wanna grow up and I fear what’s next! Help!

Petrified By Puberty Problems

Hi Petrified By Puberty Problems,

Oh boy, I can TOTALLY relate! Or at least, I could a couple years ago, and I completely remember the feelings. I’ve already started puberty, and believe me, it’s not all bad.

However, it’s SUPER overwhelming when it gets started, and you’re not alone in feeling that way! Part of what makes it so overwhelming is that your hormones start freaking out. So, your emotions are all over the place, which makes it hard to deal with the changes. Like, if your emotions were all steady and calm, you could go, “Oh, hey, there’s some more hair on my body. Guess I’ll figure out how to deal with that.”


Since there’s no set schedule, a group of 12-year-old friends can be at TOTALLY different stages of puberty, which can make you feel all alone.

So, puberty’s hard. Just affirming that. 🙂

Let’s start with your armpit hair. It’s absolutely normal. For most people, shaving should not be a concern. However, if you’re in dance, gymnastics or dying to wear a cute tank top, talk to your mom about shaving under your arms. The thing is if you’ve never shaved before, you can cut yourself and those cuts STING. (Especially when they’re in your armpit and then you put deodorant on…)

Next: Your friends are wearing showy clothes. (And I’m guessing probably makeup, and talking about boys a lot more?) You might get there eventually OR you might not! Like, you guys might head off to college and you still won’t be too into fashion or makeup and that’s FINE. A lot of that is personality, and I guarantee some of the girls at your school who seem super into that stuff are only doing it because it seems like what everyone else is doing.

Finally: You don’t want to grow up and you fear what’s next. I think the thing to remember is that growing up doesn’t happen overnight. You have years ahead of you before you leave the nest. By the time it finally happens, you’ll probably be DYING to get out of there.

So, don’t rush it. Enjoy being young! Sure, you’re worried about your body changing. That doesn’t mean you have to dive into an adult woman’s complete hygiene routine or worry yourself silly. Take it one step at a time!

As for what’s next, you probably learned all this at some point in a very uncomfortable health class, but here are the basics of puberty:

  • Increased height and weight
  • Body development
  • Hair growth
  • First Period
  • Mood Swings

Some of these things may be more sudden or dramatic than others. They could happen in any order. They might be spread out over years, or might all come together within a couple months. And it’s ALL NORMAL.

NONE of the physical changes mean you have to suddenly be any different than you are right this minute. You are who you are, regardless of where you’ve got hair on your body. As you get a little older, who you want to be may change. That’s okay too. But there’s no rush.

Just take it one step at a time. Get advice from somebody that survived puberty and lived to tell about it, like your mom, aunt or older sister. It’ll be okay. I promise! 🙂

Any tips for getting through puberty? Tell us in the comments!

Dork Diaries Friendship Box

Get my NEW Dork Diaries Friendship Box and share it with your BFFs! There’s lots of cool stuff inside, including my Book 1 SQUEEE Edition!

November 12, 2018


Today’s quirky question is about SLEEPOVERS!

That’s right! I want to know what YOU would do if the following thing ever happened while you’re hanging out overnight with your friends.

Let’s say that, as a sleepover prank, your BFFs wet your clothes and then stuffed them into the freezer! And when you find them the next morning, they’re FROZEN SOLID!

Now you’re going to have to thaw them out and then put your wet clothes into the dryer before you can get dressed.

What would you do about this annoying prank? Would you…

A) Get mad and go home!

B) Laugh it off while drying your clothes.

C) Spray whipped cream inside their sleeping bags!!

Please choose which answer best describes you and then click the VOTE button to see how everyone answered!

You can share your answers in the comments below and spill about any wicked pranks you’ve pulled at sleepovers or on your friends and family! HAVE FUN!

November 10, 2018



Yesterday, all of my pants were in the wash, so I had to borrow my brother’s. During PE I was running around, and forgot my pants were a few sizes too big. Well guess what happened? My pants fell down!! Everyone saw me in my trunks, even the girls, and now this is all people are talking about. The news has gotten around the whole school! But the worst thing is that someone got a picture of me, and now they have posted it on the internet where everyone can see it! What should I do? I’m so embarrassed!! Please write back soon, I am DESPERATE!

Humiliated And Helpless

Hey Humiliated And Helpless,

Okay, I’m not gonna lie. This is BAD. In twenty years, it’ll be a story you laugh about when you tell your kids. But right now? This is Defcon 1 bad. (Did you know Defcon 1 is the worst? Some people think Defcon 5 is the worst, but it really goes in reverse. NOT actually the point right now, I know, but…fun fact!)

So, this is an actual nightmare many people have – suddenly being undressed in public – only it really happened to you. That would be bad enough, but to have it recorded and posted on the internet? That brings it to another level. A CYBERBULLYING level.

Sharing humiliating photos online of someone else without their permission is 100% covered by your school’s bullying policy and it’s the kind of behavior that needs to be stopped. Whether or not your school takes action (though I’d be shocked if they don’t), you can report the photo to whatever website they posted it to – Twitter, Instagram, whatever. They all have ways to report abusive content, which this definitely is.

Even if there hadn’t been photos, this would have been super embarrassing, no doubt. And I’m sure lots of people were talking about it. But in the time it’s taken me to read your letter and respond, I’m pretty sure they’ve also probably moved on to the next juicy item of gossip. We don’t have very long attention spans, which is a good thing in this situation.

If people DO keep bringing it up, the very best thing you can do is make a joke of it and act like you think it was hilarious too. I know it’ll be hard. I know you’re mortified. But if you make yourself a target, people will take aim. Find a way to laugh with them and they’re more likely to move on.

Normally I’m all about telling people to be themselves, but this is the rare case when you actually want to play a part. Imagine how the most confident, cocky guy in your school would react if this happened to him. Then try to play that part, responding to teasing with the same kind of jokes or who-cares-attitude he would.

Hey. This whole pants-falling-down fiasco could have happened to ANYONE. It’s a big deal because, for some reason, we all think that bodies are embarrassing. But believe me, it will pass.

But the photo getting shared on the internet? That’s what really bothers me. That didn’t have to happen. It’s not something just anyone would do. Please report it so there are consequences for that bully.

As for everything else, try not to let it bother you.

What do you do when something super embarrassing happens to you? Any tips for laughing it off? Tell us in the comments!
November 7, 2018

WHO AM I????

Dear Nikki,

I’ve been feeling really confused about myself lately. When I’m around my friends, I act really goofy, just like an all-around nutcase. But I’m also close with some CCPs and when I’m around them, I have to act totally different. It drives me INSANE. Should I keep up this charade, or should I just give up and pick a side?

Frustrated Phony

Dear Frustrated Phony,

That’s easy! Just be yourself!

LOLOL! Just kidding. That’s not very helpful advice, even though people say it all the time. I mean, knowing HOW to be yourself is tricky since we don’t always know who that is or what that looks like! And sometimes we have different selves for different situations!

Like, I definitely have different personalities for different situations and different groups of people. I don’t act the same way with my grandma as I do with my friends, for example. And I don’t act the same way hanging out in the janitor’s closet with my BFFs, Chloe and Zoey, as I do in my math classroom.

If we are hanging out with two different groups of friends, we might act differently. I don’t think that’s super weird, or that there’s anything wrong with it.

However, it could be a problem if you feel uncomfortable or like you’re not being honest with who you are. It sounds a little like you might be uncomfortable with the CCPs because you’re not allowed to act goofy. Which tells me that goofy is your true personality, but you hide it because you think the CCPs won’t like it.

If the CCPs—or ANYONE for that matter—don’t like it, then do you really want to be friends with them if you have to act PHONY? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with acting a little different around different friends. But, I DO think there’s something wrong with acting fake. You’re not being honest with them OR with yourself.

Who knows? Maybe we’re not giving the CCPs enough credit. Maybe they’d LOVE the goofy side of you! Maybe if you loosen up and let your INNER DORK shine through, it will help some of them feel more like they can show their true personalities too. Everybody wins! 🙂

The main thing is, you need to feel comfortable with both groups of friends. So, that means you need to make a choice:

  1. Accept the fact that you act differently around the CCPs. OR…
  2. Just be your normal, goofy self around the CCPs. If they don’t like it, that’s OKAY, since you have other friends who love you as you truly are.
  3. Which choice sounds better to you? Well, whatever you do, REMEMBER TO ALWAYS LET YOUR INNER DORK SHINE THROUGH!

Hey readers, do you ever act totally different around certain people? Do you ever feel like you’re acting fake? Tell us about it in the comments!
November 6, 2018


I can’t believe it’s already November! The weather is chilly, the leaves are changing, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

The most important thing about November is that there’s a really big TALENT SHOW coming up at our school!

Below is an excerpt from my November diary, DORK DIARIES BOOK 3: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-TALENTED POP STAR.

I was super interested in entering the talent show to earn scholarship money for school. But as usual, MacKenzie tries to RUIN EVERYTHING!

You can read all about it below. Enjoy!

Pages from dork diaries 3
November 4, 2018

Nikki’s birthday cake!

I’d like to announce the winning birthday cake of Nikki’s Birthday Cake Vote.

Drumroll please. And, the winner is…!


Thanks for voting, everyone! I’m sure Nikki’s going to love her new birthday cake.

November 3, 2018


Dear Brandon,

There’s this boy who used to be my best friend. We’d talk all night and I’d vent and rant to him and he gave me great advice. But since last month or so, we’ve completely stopped talking because my friends don’t like him at all. Then another boy told me that the only reason he was spending so much time talking to me in the first place was because he had a crush on me. Apparently, boys only bother themselves with the girls they like. I felt terrible when I heard that because it’s making me question whether he was such a nice guy in the first place. Maybe my friends were right! Ugh, why do boys have to ruin everything by starting to have feelings for you? But I really, really miss him! 🙁

Bestie Blues

Hey Bestie Blues,

Okay, I feel your pain and will try to help you, but I have to stand up for this guy first!

IF your guy friend really did have a crush on you (which you’re only hearing second hand from his buddy and is possibly not even true), that doesn’t make him a bad guy for spending time with you! First of all, maybe he didn’t start out with a crush on you, but after spending time talking with you, he saw what a cool girl you are and developed a crush. Or maybe he had a crush all along, but he didn’t pressure you about it. You didn’t even know about it until someone else told you. So it sounds to me like he was being a good friend all along and dealing with his feelings on his own. That’s hard to do!

(Not that I have ANY experience being a friend to someone I’m TOTALLY crushing on… 🙂 )

So look, you stopped talking NOT because of his feelings, but because YOUR friends don’t like him. That sounds like it was YOUR decision, not his. It’s not like he backed off your friendship because he found out you don’t like him.

I can see how you might feel worried that any time you show friendship to a guy, he’s going to want to turn it into something else. There are guys like that. (There are girls like that, too.) But it really, really doesn’t sound like that’s what this guy did.
So if you miss him, I think the answer is to let him know. And you can do that without making him think you want anything more than your old friendship back. You can say something like, “Hey, I’m sorry if things got weird with our friendship. I was going through some stuff. But I miss talking to you. How have you been?”

If you’re lucky, you’ll be back to talking for hours. But if he knows you dropped him because your friends didn’t like him, you might have more of a challenge. It would make sense if his feelings are hurt and he might have trouble trusting that you’re not going to drop him again. And another reason he might have trouble jumping back into your friendship (so you’re prepared) is if he knows his friend told you he was crushing on you. Whether or not it’s true, that’s awkward.

So be prepared for a few roadblocks, but if you really miss him, tell him that. Be the one who’s brave enough to reach out, because it sounds like he might have already been embarrassed once or twice in this situation. And don’t expect it all to change overnight. It might take a while to get things back to where you were.

But I believe you can do it! It sounds like you had a real friendship and it’s worth going through an awkward phase to get that back.

Have you ever rebuilt a friendship that hit a rocky patch? Do you think guys and girls can be friends without any crushes getting in the way? Tell us in the comments!
November 1, 2018

November Calendar – Pop star

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

1 vertical page – 8½ x 11in