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Dork Diaries: Birthday Drama - Out Now!
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September 22, 2019


Hi Brandon,

I got the main role in our school’s fall play, which is exciting! But, my understudy is being mean to me because she didn’t get the role. I feel sorry for her, but I also worked really hard to get the part and she’s being super annoying. WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!

Drowning In Drama

Hey Drowning In Drama,

Well first of all, congratulations on getting the main role! That’s a big deal. I hope the understudy’s jealousy isn’t stopping you from feeling proud about that.

Jealousy is really tough, whether you’re feeling jealous, or somebody’s feeling jealous of you. And I bet it happens a lot when everyone wants the leading role in a play. It happens in other activities too, like sports, spelling bees or WHATEVER. Even things like friendship and crushes. There’s so much competition, all around us!

It’s pretty tricky when you’re the one who got the part. You’re proud of yourself and you should be. But you also don’t want to act like you’re better than anyone and make anyone feel envious. I think the best thing you can do in general (we’ll get to the mean girl in a second) is try to be humble and a good team player with the whole cast. Compliment other people on their work, offer to run lines with people, and stuff like that. And work hard. Show everyone that you deserve the part because of how hard you’re willing to work.

Now, let’s talk about the understudy. Nothing excuses her being mean, but I will say that being an understudy seems like a really hard job. Because you have to do ALL of the work of the lead actor but you might not even get to perform and show everyone how hard you worked. (The upside of being an understudy is that you get a chance to learn a lot and prove yourself to the director. If you DO get to perform, you’ll be saving the day! But if you don’t, hopefully the director will remember your work the next time and you’ll get to perform an important part then.)

So, just like humility is important, it’s also good to understand what the understudy is going through. Maybe there are ways you can make her feel like you’re partners in the role, like running lines together or working on choreography together.

But, if she’s not responding to your kindness and all into the “haterade,” it sounds like that might be her problem. If it’s a serious problem that’s distracting you, you could talk to the director. But if it’s just annoying, do your best to focus on giving the best performance you can and try to ignore the understudy’s issues.

Have you ever been jealous because you didn’t get a part, make a team or win a competition? Have you ever been the one who got something other people wanted? How do you deal with their jealousy?
September 18, 2019


Dear Nikki,

My friend told me her email password, so I logged onto her account and sent an email to her crush, telling him that she likes him! I was just trying to help! But she found out and is SUPER MAD at me. What should I do?

Frantic Friendship Fail

Hi Frantic Friendship Fail,

Yikes! Okay, I’m going to be real with you. That was NOT cool and your friend totally deserves to be mad. Beyond mad! 🙁

Can you imagine how you’d feel in HER shoes?!

You say you were just trying to help. But even if your intentions were good, this was a huge betrayal. In the future, there are lots of ways to help that DON’T involve pretending to be someone else and telling their big secret.

But we all mess up. If you can recognize that you were wrong, and make clear how sorry you are and that nothing like that will ever happen again, hopefully your friend will forgive you. It might take time, though.

In some cases when you mess up big like this, you should try to fix it if there’s a way. I don’t think there’s anything to do in this case, though. Saying something to the crush about how it was really you writing will probably just make a bigger deal of everything. Only do something like that if your BFF wants you to.

No matter how sorry you are, you can’t undo this. It’s done. So the thing now is going to be earning back her trust.

Here are some steps to earning back trust.

  1. Apologize, genuinely and without any excuses. Take responsibility for messing up.
  2. Listen to your friend’s feelings and don’t get defensive.
  3. If she’s too mad to speak with you, write a letter.
  4. Show her she can count on you, even in little things. If you say you’ll be somewhere at a certain time, be there. If you say you’ll bring the candy to the movie, bring it.
  5. Be patient if she’s distrustful for a while. Give her space if she needs it.

I’m sure it’s easy to feel defensive when you believe you were trying to help. But this was a betrayal. The sooner you can own it, the sooner you can both move on.

And let this be a lesson to all readers – never share your passwords with anyone! Not even BFFs! You never know how they’ll try to “help” you!

Have you ever betrayed a BFF? Have you been betrayed? Were you able to forgive and move forward? Tell us about it in the comments.
September 17, 2019


CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve officially made it through the first week of school. You’ve had a chance to meet your teachers, catch up with all of your friends and even meet a few new ones!

Will this school year be a repeat of last year or will it be TOTALLY different?! Take this quiz and I’ll tell you what your school year will be like!

Please don’t forget to post all of your comments below. I’m super excited to hear your thoughts about the quiz!

To find out more about your school year, click on the image below!

September 16, 2019


Hey Brandon,

People at my school are REALLY immature about guys having girls for friends. When a boy talks to a girl, they immediately assume they’re a couple. It’s SO FRUSTRATING! Once, I was just trying to ask a girl how to do a math question and everyone started wooing all over the place. It’s super annoying! What do I do?!

Frustrating Friendship Fiasco

What’s Up Frustrating Friendship Fiasco,

That IS annoying. And you’re right that they’re just being immature. In a few years, it will be totally cool to have all kinds of friends. (Or sooner, depending how old you are.) Being the guy who knows how to talk to girls will actually be a really good thing!

But for now, you’re in a tough situation. And it’s confusing. For a while, boys and girls can be friends like no problem, and then there are some weird years when everyone has cooties or whatever, and then there are years where everyone is automatically in loooooooove if they borrow a pencil.

And then sometime later, it’ll be fine to be friends with anyone again.

But what’s super confusing is no one tells you the rules. Like, it would be helpful if you were given a schedule in kindergarten that tells you:

  • Kindergarten – 1st grade: Friends are great!
  • 2nd – 3rd grade: Cootie-palooza!
  • 4th – 6th grade: Loooooooooooooove
  • 7th grade and up: Friends are great!

But that schedule doesn’t exist. It’s pretty accurate to how my friend experience has been, but it’s different for everyone.

The IDEAL thing to do, in my opinion, is roll your eyes and tell them they’re so immature. It’s true, and it might make them think about why that’s their response. If you’re not confident enough to challenge the people teasing you, you can at least give the eye roll to the girl you’re talking to and tell her how immature everyone else is. I bet she’ll agree.

If you can be as confident as possible, it might change how people act. And if it doesn’t, well, this phase will end eventually. And once it’s cool to talk to girls again, you’ll be way more comfortable than the other guys who were too busy teasing you to learn how themselves!

Are boys and girls able to be friends at your school? How do you feel about it? Tell us in the comments.
September 11, 2019


Hi Nikki,

I’ve always wanted a short, cute hairstyle, and my mom has said NO forever! Then a while back, she said okay, but every time I ask her to take me, she makes excuses why she can’t. It’s been several years and I still have my annoying, thick, frizzy long hair, and I HATE IT! I don’t know what the big deal is! HELP!

Bad Hair Day

Hi Bad Hair Day,

My first thought was: What the heck, Mom? It’s just hair! My mom’s always complaining about my hair being in my face – she’d probably LOVE a short haircut on me.

But I tried to think about it from your mom’s perspective. It’s tough, but somebody’s got to do it. The brain of the Modern Mom is difficult to understand, but I am doing my best, for the good of kid-kind! 🙂

I thought about other letters I get from girls whose moms don’t want them to put on makeup, get their ears pierced, or wear trendier fashions yet. I think what all of these things have in common is that they are signs of growing up, and that can freak moms out to realize you’re not their little girl anymore.

“But Nikki,” you say, “short hair isn’t a grown-up thing! Little girls can have short hair!” Yes, they can. But it sounds like YOU have always had long hair. (At least since it grew out from baby length.) So while short hair wouldn’t necessarily be a more mature hairstyle, it would be a big change. And big changes are hard for moms.

It’s super annoying when it feels like parents want us to stay little kids. (While at the same time telling us to act more mature sometimes…) I think the thing is that they know how hard it can be to grow up. There are more pressures and dangerous things to get into as we move into high school and then even more into college. And it’s our parents’ job to protect us.

I think you should sit down with your mom and explain why you want a shorter hairstyle. If she says no, try to get an answer (without whining) as to why. And ask her if not now, then when? Or would she be comfortable with something slightly shorter than it is now, but not super-short boy length. Ease her into it. 🙂 And if she says yes, then make a plan for when it will happen. If she can’t take you, get her permission to go with someone else – maybe a friend’s mom will take you, or another family member.

The thing is to communicate with her about what you want, and about what she’s worried about. Figuring out how to communicate now, over something like a haircut will be good practice for later when you need to communicate about wearing makeup, learning to drive, or something else more emotional. 🙂

How have your parents reacted when you’ve wanted to do something that shows you’re growing up, like wearing makeup, getting a hair cut, getting your ears pierced, trendier fashions, etc.? Tell us in the comments!
September 8, 2019


Hi Brandon!

I’ve been seriously crushing on a guy for almost 2 years and I’ve told him as well. But whenever I try to talk to him about it, he just weasels his way out of it. I just want to know how he feels about me. What should I do?

Crazy Crushitis Case

Hi Crazy Crushitis Case,

Whoa, that’s a long time for an unrequited crush! And you’re brave for telling him! It sounds like you’re pretty comfortable talking about your feelings, which is awesome. But not everyone is.

You say he “weasels out of it” when you try to talk to him about how you feel, but I wonder what that means. I’m guessing he doesn’t give you a straight answer about whether or not he likes you back. But he’s in kind of a tough position! Let’s think about his possible responses.

If he DOES like you, he has two options:

  1. OMG, I totally like you too!!!!   Okay, well this would be awesome and is probably what you’re hoping for, but it hasn’t happened, so either it’s not what’s going on OR
  2. Awkward, fumbling, unclear response.  Maybe this is what you’ve gotten? It could possibly be because he DOES like you, but he’s awkward and shy about it and uncomfortable talking about his feelings.

If he DOESN’T like you, he has two options:

  1. I don’t like you. Which is…mean? There might be kinder, gentler ways to say it, but no matter how he says it, he’d probably be worried about hurting your feelings. And he’s a decent guy, so he doesn’t want to do that.
  2. Awkward, fumbling, unclear response. And again, maybe this is what you’ve gotten? Because if he doesn’t like you (like that), but he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, what ends up coming out of his mouth might be totally unclear. One might even say “weaselly.”

So whether he likes you or not, what you see as weaseling out of answering is probably him being uncomfortable with the topic. And it’s not the answer you want but…it’s still sort of an answer? And bugging him until he gives you more of an answer is probably not going to make him like you more.

So I think you should probably try to chill out a little and give him some space. He hasn’t shut you down with a blunt, “I don’t like you,” so you can continue talking with him and being friendly. But you’ve already made clear how you feel. So if he decides he’s got feelings he wants to express, I’m sure he’ll tell you when he’s ready!

Have you ever told a crush how you feel? How have you responded when a crush has told you they like YOU? Tell us in the comments!
September 4, 2019

I’m Freaking Out!!!

Hi Nikki,

I’m claustrophobic, which means I’m afraid of small, enclosed spaces like inside a closet. So, obviously I HATE the tube slides at school. But this year the new thing at recess is this game called, “Clog The Slide.” It’s when someone goes to the bottom of the slide and clogs it. Then people keep sliding down and stack on each other INSIDE THE TUBE. This sounds like my WORST NIGHTMARE!!! But my friends are super into it and think it’s really fun! All they want to do is play “Clog The Slide.” I’m too scared to do it, but they’ll think I’m a baby if I say so, and also now I have nothing to do at recess! Help!!!

Tube Slide Trouble

Hi Tube Slide Trouble,

I remember “Clog The Slide!” That was SO FUN! But if you’re scared of small, enclosed spaces, it would definitely NOT be fun for you! Especially if you’re one of the people stuck in the middle! 🙁

Although…if you want to try to be a part of things, you could probably handle being the FIRST person, couldn’t you? Because then you’d just be hanging out at the bottom, which is open. So that’s a thought! 🙂

But, I’m going to assume you don’t want to try it AT ALL. And that’s okay! We all have things we’re scared of. Sometimes it’s good to try to do them anyway and get over the fear. If you’ve got to give a report in front of the class but you’re afraid of public speaking…well, you have to figure out how to do that, not just for that assignment, but because there will be more times you will have to speak in public and it’s an important life skill.

Playing clog the slide is not an important life skill. LOL! And recess is supposed to be fun. So I don’t think there’s any reason you should force yourself to do it.

It seems like you’re worried about two things:

  • your friends thinking you’re a baby.
  • Being bored because that’s all anyone wants to do.

Let’s start with the baby thing. This is one of those things where how YOU act determines what they’ll think. If you’re whiney about it, and make a big deal about how scared you are, they might think you’re a baby. But if you’re confident in telling them you just don’t want to do it, you won’t seem like a baby. You’ll just seem like someone who knows what she wants and stands up for herself. Which is really very mature. If they ask WHY, tell them confidently that you really don’t like enclosed spaces. Make it seem like it’s not a big deal.

As for being bored…I mean, you don’t want to be a party pooper and try to make your friends stop doing something they’re enjoying. It’s your choice not to play. So I think you might just have to deal. That might mean sitting and watching. Maybe you could find a way to be involved, like counting how many people get inside, timing how long it takes them to get out, or whatever. Maybe it means finding something else to do.

But one thing to keep in mind: this is not going to be all anyone plays all school year long. It’s just the trendy thing right now. They might be over it by next week. For sure by next month. So, hang in there!

And next month, when everyone is into something different that you like, maybe be on the lookout for someone who doesn’t like that thing and see if there’s a way you can include them too!

Have you ever been afraid or just not interested in the latest fad your friends were into? How did you handle it? Tell us in the comments below!
September 2, 2019


The summer is almost over and school starts soon! Let’s end your summer with a BIG SPLASH!


Take this quiz and I’ll tell you which swimsuit style is PERFECT to wear at your END-OF-SUMMER POOL PARTY!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the quiz, so please post your comments below.

To get started on your party, click on the image below!

August 31, 2019


What’s up Brandon,

I have a super important question! What would a really mature, cool girl want to do at a party?! Usually my parties are just me and my kooky BFFs, who are super fun and will happily do anything at a birthday bash. But, this year I have a new friend who’s a CCP. I’m worried that she’ll think my party is BABYISH! After all, she’s been to tons of SUPERCOOL sleepovers without me and will probably expect something as glam as they were. How should I plan my b-day?! It’s gotta be LIT! Any ideas?!

Panicking Over Party Plans

Hey Panicking Over Party Plans,

Okay, look. I don’t know anything about glam sleepovers. The last sleepover I had just included me and my friend Max Crumbly playing video games until we passed out on the couch.

But, in all honesty, I don’t think you really need party-planning advice. I think you need to know how SUPER FUN your party-planning ideas already are.

Your kooky BFFs sound AWESOME. And it’s also awesome that you’ve got a new friend. But what’s NOT awesome is changing your whole party around because of what you think this one new friend is going to want. It’s YOUR party, not hers!

First of all, you’d probably be surprised how she’ll react to your style of kooky fun. Just because she seems mature, sophisticated or whatever doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to have goofy fun. Her CCP status might actually mean she doesn’t often get the chance for goofy fun, because people expect her to be a certain way. So, for all we know, she might be super into it whatever you and your BFFs would normally do.

And even if she wants, like, manicures on a yacht, it’s not for her. If she really IS your friend, she’ll want you to have a party that suits YOUR sense of fun. If she thinks something is babyish, well…SO WHAT. If that’s her first reaction to your party, you and your BFFs should carry on without worrying about it. Then she’ll probably see how much fun you’re having and want to join in.

Basically, it comes down to this: Don’t change who you are and what you think is fun or cool because of what someone else might think. ESPECIALLY when that person is a friend who should accept you no matter what you’re into.

So, I say embrace the kooky. And happy birthday, by the way. 🙂

Let’s ask our readers about this one. Do you change how you act around certain friends? And what are your favorite birthday party ideas? Tell us in the comments!
August 29, 2019


Dear Nikki,

I’m a pretty good artist and so is my best friend. But, we both upload our art on social media and she’s more popular than I am. She gets more likes and comments on her art than I do.  I know I should be happy for her, but I just can’t stop from feeling jealous! HELP!

Intense Instagram Envy

Hi Intense Instagram Envy,

Oh boy, I can soooo relate. And I’m sure a lot of my readers can, too. Not everyone shares their art on social media, of course. But everyone shares selfies and other personal posts and then waits for the likes and followers. Or the LACK of likes or followers. It’s totally messed up how terrible it feels when there are no new likes. It doesn’t even mean anyone disliked you or your art! It just means no one happened to hit that heart in the minute since you last checked your notifications! But it still feels like a total punch in the gut! 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-social media. I think there are some great things about it. The ability to share art is really cool! And I think it’s amazing when people have enough self-love and self-confidence to want to share their art, selfies or whatever on social media.

But when the constant comparison is causing more anxiety than joy, it’s a problem!

You might think that if you were just getting more likes, you’d be happier. But I doubt it. Your BFF with more likes and followers? She probably just feels pressure to have more and more. And she probably compares herself to other creators who have more likes and followers than she does.

If social media is making you feel bad and anxious more than it’s making you feel happy and connected, then something needs to change. I’ve done other posts about how to deal with phone addiction, so here I want to focus on this main point related to social media: 

Try to make your social media posts about what YOU like and what makes YOU feel good, not what you think other people will like.

This applies to art AND selfies, plus anything else you might like to post. Share the piece of art you’re super proud of because YOU love it, not because your BFF posted an awesome watercolor painting and got a bunch of likes so now you’re going to post a watercolor painting too. Instead, post a drawing of your fav Dork Diaries character not to compete with your BFF, but because you love to draw and you worked hard to master it!

And sometimes? Maybe keep some art for yourself and don’t share them. Just to see how it feels!

How do you feel when one of your social media posts gets lots of likes? How about when it doesn’t get many (or any)? Let’s talk social media in the comments!